Also known as Veh-Ardashir or New Seleucia. Located on the Tigris, south of modern Baghdad, the name Kokhe is Aramaic in origin. Kokhe was established as a round city to the east of Old Seleucia and until recently was believed to be the Parthian center of Ctesiphon. However, Italian excavations under Gullini and Invernizzi have conclusively shown that only one stratigraphic layer is pre-Sasanian, and that it was primarily mortuary in nature. Sasanian and Syriac references to Seleucia or Seleucia-Ctesiphon (or al-Madāʾin) almost certainly refer to Kokhe, not to the original Hellenistic city. The city was the administrative capital of the Sasanians as well as of the Ch. of E. German excavations in the 1930s uncovered a church which had at least two phases of use, with the later one dating to the end of the 6th cent. Among the finds from this structure were an ostracon with a fragment of a Syriac prayer, a number of pieces of stucco decoration which mirror Sasanian styles, and the remnants of the stucco statue of a saint. The designation and significance of the church are not known, although Seleucia-Ctesiphon functioned as the seat of the cath. of the Ch. of E. from at least the early 5th cent.


  • M.  Cassis, ‘Kokhe, Cradle of the Church of the East’, JCSSS 2 (2002), 62–78. (incl. further references).
  • M.  Cavallero and M. Ponzi, ‘The Excavations at Coche’, Mesopotamia 1 (1966), 63–88.
  • J.-M.  Fiey, ‘Topography of al-Madāʾin’, Sumer 23 (1967), 3–38.
  • G.  Gullini, ‘Problems of an Excavation in Northern Babylonia’, Mesopotamia 1 (1966), 7–38.
  • A.  Invernizzi, ‘Ten Years’ Research in the al-Madāʾin Area, Seleucia and Ctesiphon’, Sumer 32 (1976), 167–74.
  • J.  Kröger, Sasanidischer Stuckdekor (1982). (incl. further references)
  • E.  Kühnel, Die Ausgrabungen der zweiten Ktesiphon-Expedition 1931/2 (1933).
  • O. Reuther, Die Ausgrabungen der deutschen Ktesiphon-Expedition im Winter 1928/29 (1930).
  • O. Reuther, ‘The German Excavations at Ctesiphon’, Antiquity 3 (1929), 434–51.

How to Cite This Entry

Marica C. Cassis , “Kokhe,” in Kokhe, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay, https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Kokhe.

Footnote Style Citation with Date:

Marica C. Cassis , “Kokhe,” in Kokhe, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Kokhe.

Bibliography Entry Citation:

Cassis, Marica C. “Kokhe.” In Kokhe. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Kokhe.

A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Kokhe/tei.

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