Iran News ...


5/15/07

Iran's Most Ancient Banner Go on Display in National Museum

By Soudabeh Sadigh

For the first time, Shahdad banner which is the first identified banner in Iran will be displayed alongside more than 150 other historical relics in Iran's National Museum.


Shahdad Banner

Tehran, 14 May 2007 (CHN) - Shahdah banner which dates back to the Iron Age, is the most ancient flag which has ever been discovered in Iran. This flag along with more than 150 prehistoric and historic relics will go on display for the first time for public visit in Unseen Exhibition in second floor of Iran's National Museum from 28th of May.

According to Mohammad Reza Kargar, director of Iran's National Museum, this collection is consisted of a number of invaluable Iranian national treasures ranging in date from prehistoric to Qajar dynastic era (1787-1921 AD), which have never gone on display so far.

"Shahdad banner, a number of statues which have been discovered in Shahdad, as well as Lorestan's bronze relics will also go on display in this exhibition", said Kargar.

The discovered banner in Shahdad is consisted of a squared metal piece, 23.4 in 23.4 centimeters in size, mounted on a 128-centimeter metal axle which the flag can turn over it. An eagle with opened wings which is in a landing position can be seen on top of the axle. The flag is engraved with some designs which depicting requesting water from rein goddess, which reveal irrigation method which was practiced during the third and fourth millennia BC in Shahdad.

Located in Iranian Kerman province, which is one of the most ancient provinces in Iran, Shahdad enjoyed a very ancient civilization dates back to Iron Age and before. Shahdad is situated in one of Iran's famous deserts, Kavir-e Lut, therefore, it is known as one of the world's hottest spots.

This exhibition was due to be held on February 2007, however since the brochures of the exhibition were not ready by that time, the exhibition was postponed.

Based on regulations of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, the historical relics which are unearthed during archeological excavations all over the country, should be transferred and kept in the national treasury located in Iran's National Museum.

The idea for establishing a building to house and protect Iran's cultural heritage came into force in 1917, during which a part of the old building of the Ministry of Science, located north of the Dar ol-Fonoon Technical School, was allocated for this purpose. In 1919, concurrent with the expansion of archeological excavations by Europeans in Iran, the government of the time set up an Antiquities Department within the Ministry of Sciences. However, during following years, with the increasing destruction of historical sites and plundering of artistic works and growing nationalistic sentiments, some officials spearheaded the establishment of the Association of National Works in 1925 with the aim of preserving cultural relics.

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