Shahrivar 25 1400 - September 16 2021
Photos: The historical Titi Caravansary in Gilan, Iran

Titi Caravansary is a stone structure located in Gilan Province of Iran. The caravansary, which is 398 square meters in extent, lies on a green hill near Siahkal City, which boasts pleasant weather. 'Titi', who ordered the construction of the caravansary, was the aunt of one of Iran's kings during the reign of the Safavid Dynasty in the country. Titi means blossom, so the structure is also called 'The Blossom Caravansary' by Iranians. -Pouria Pakizeh, ISNA 9/16/21

Window to the past: gigantic underground city is chock-full of untold stories

A massive underground city, which was once a defensive refuge in ancient times, is getting ready for public visits in central Iran. Up to now, two seasons of excavation have been conducted on the underground city believed to be the largest in Iran and even in West Asia. So far, subterranean spaces and passageways covering 400 square meters have been excavated by archaeologists and cultural heritage experts. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 9/13/21

Selasal Castle, Iran's 10th cultural heritage site registered on UN list

Selasal Castle is a huge fortified building in Iran's Khuzestan province dating back to the Sassanid era. The castle, located in the city of Shushtar, includes multiple big yards, barracks, stables, bathrooms, shabestans [underground spaces], towers, gardens, qourkhanehs (places of weapons], naqarehkhanehs [places of musical instruments], harems, kitchens, big ponds, a fence and a moat. -Iran Front Page 9/10/21

300-year-old historical iranian residence is transformed into an architectural firm

iran-based polsheer architects restored and preserved a cultural heritage that existed 300 years ago in djolfa neighborhood, iran. this tercentenary house had basically been a dwelling part of an edifice. in 1996 (1375 ap), the present board of directors of polsheer architects planners engineers co. purchased this house from zavalian's heirs. after the principal restoration and rehabilitation of the building, the main function of this precious structure was changed transformed from a residence to an architectural firm. -designboom 9/3/21

Millennia-old Iranian village nominated for UNWTO label

Iran's millennia-old village of Kharanaq has been nominated for the 'Best Tourism Villages' label, which will be granted to a selection of rural destinations by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Embracing a labyrinth of streets, tunnels, passageways, and impressive buildings such as a tiny mosque, a shaking minaret, and an old caravanserai, Kharanaq is sometimes referred to as a photographer's dream. The village is situated in Ardakan county of Yazd province. -Tehran Times 9/3/21

The oldest surviving Zoroastrian scriptures were found not in Iran or India, but in China

In the United Kingdom, the British Library has an unrivalled collection of Zoroastrian manuscripts and therefore welcomed the opportunity to display three of its Zoroastrian treasures in the current exhibition "Epic Iran" organised by the V&A with the Iran Heritage Foundation in association with The Sarikhani Collection. -Ursula Sims-Williams, 9/2/21

Ancient relief depicting Greek-Persian war unearthed in NW Turkey

Archeologists in northwestern Turkey discovered a relief on Monday depicting a war between the Greeks and Persians from the fifth century B.C. The figures on the relief show fighting Greek soldiers beneath the hoofs of Persian warhorses, said archeologist Kaan Iren, who leads the dig site of the ancient city of Dascylium found in the modern-day Bandirma district of Balikesir province. -YeniSafak 9/1/21

Looted 2,700-year-old bricks-discovered in Swiss warehouse-are returned to Iran

A spectacular group of decorated bricks, dating from around 700BC and looted from an Iranian archaeological site has now been recovered from a bonded warehouse in Switzerland. The large painted bricks have recently been returned to Tehran and will go on display as soon as the Covid-19 situation allows. -Art Newspaper 8/26/21

Middle Persian Inscriptions of Derbent Are in Danger

The Middle Persian inscriptions of Darband in Dagestan represent the northernmost extent in the spread of Pahlavi writing; the official language of the Sasanian Empire which is the predecessor of Modern Persian. -Pejman Akbarzadeh, BBC Persian Service 8/26/21

Epic Iran: Ancient objects that reveal writing's roots

An exhibition about Iran traces how some of the world's earliest scripts developed. They were as much about images as text, writes Kelly Grovier. -BBC 8/19/21

Treasure of Persian Manuscripts in Southern Russia

Until the early 19th century, Persian was popular among the educated layer of Dagestani society. The Scientific Center of Dagestan now holds a unique collection of Persian manuscripts. - Pejman Akbarzadeh 8/12/21

The Ancient Persian way to keep cool

From Ancient Egypt to the Persian Empire, an ingenious method of catching the breeze kept people cool for millennia. In the search for emissions-free cooling, the "wind catcher" could once again come to our aid. -imiya Shokoohi, BBC 8/11/21

Persian Treasure of Dagestan National Museum

Dagestan National Museum, in the Russian Federation, holds a collection of Persian artefacts and manuscripts which is little known elsewhere. One of the important documents in this museum is a royal Persian order [farman/firman], over 300 years old, from the Safavid king Sultan Husayn to the ruler of Derbent. At that time Derbent was part of the Persian Empire. It was conquered by Russia in 1813, following the Treaty of Golestan and now is part of the Autonomous Republic of Dagestan. -Pejman Akbarzadeh 7/23/21

IRAN: Quake shakes historical sites in Bushehr, no reports of damage

On Monday, a 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bandar-e Kangan in Bushehr, however, it caused no damage to historical sites across the southwestern province. Based on field visits by experts of the province's Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department, no serious damage to historical relics and monuments has been reported, the deputy provincial tourism chief has announced. -Tehran Times 7/20/21

Rare "Divine" Ancient Fire Temple Found in Iran

The remains of an ancient mountain fire temple have been discovered in Iran. While archaeology knows of almost 200 fire temples around the world this one is special because it displays a rare ancient Iranian "divine" architectural format. A team of Iranian archaeologists unearthed relics at the ancient fire temple in Savadkuh county, in the center of the Alborz mountain range. -Ancient Origins 7/13/21

mohammad hassan forouzanfar imagines new realities for traditional landmarks of iran

mohammad hassan forouzanfar extends his 'retrofuturism' series, this time envisioning new realities for the old architecture of iran. having captured numerous traditional landmarks of the region, the artist digitally edits them in his signature chromatic style, to suggest new functions and unveil their untapped spatial potential. the resulting project showcases a dreamy aesthetic, evoking feelings of nostalgia. -Design Boom 7/7/21

The Persian Revival, a talk on Iranian Architecture by Dr. Talinn Grigor

Dr. Grigor will be joined for a Q&A session with Dr. Shazad Ghanbari, Chair of Farhang Foundation's Fine Arts Council and member of the Board of Trustees. Talinn Grigor is professor and chair of the Art History Program in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of California, Davis. -Farhang Foundation 7/6/21

How the Bolsheviks tried to Sovietize Iran

While the Civil War was still raging in Russia, the Soviet leadership was already thinking about how to ignite the flame of socialist revolution in Asia. On May 18, 1920, Soviet sailors unexpectedly disembarked in the Iranian port of Enzeli. Their goal was to seize the fleet of their main adversaries in the Civil War - the Whites - which was stationed there. As it turned out, it was just the first phase of a campaign to establish a Communist regime in Iran. -Boris Egorov, Beyond Russia 7/2/21

Epic Iran: what the critics are saying about the V&A's new exhibition

This exhibition is nothing if not ambitious, said Jonathan Jones in The Guardian. It aims to explore the cultural history of Iran from 3,000BC to the present day, summarising 5,000 years of civilisation into a single, coherent narrative. To put it in context, this is a bit like "telling the story of Britain from before Stonehenge to the present and hoping it all connects up somehow". -The Week 7/2/21

'Livestock' Remains From Iran Show Goats Were First Tamed At Least 10,000 Years Ago

Frequently the stuff of fairy tales, the relationship between humankind and goats just got a new chapter. A new East-West study based on archaeological and genetic research says ancient inhabitants of a mountainous nook of what is now northwestern Iran undertook one of the earliest defining features of human civilization, domesticating goats that differed significantly from their wild cousins at least 10,000 years ago. -Andy Heil, RFE 6/14/21

Comedy drama recounts story of Persian mythical heroine Goshasb Banu

A comedy drama telling the story of the wedding of heroine Goshasb Banu, the daughter of Persian mythical hero Rostam, went on stage at Tehran's Mehregan Theater on Tuesday. Somayyeh Abadeh is directing "Wedding of Banu Goshasb" written by veteran playwright Ardeshir Salehpur based on some ancient Persian texts. Goshasb Banu has swarms of suitors from Turan, China and India. Therefore, Rostam lays down only one condition: that he will agree to the one who can defeat her in a battle. 6/10/21

Hotu Cave: A story from living in cave to sedentism

Iranian archaeologists have begun excavations in Hotu Cave, located in Behshahr City of Iran's Mazandaran Province, approximately 70 years after American archaeologists had excavated there. By excavating the cave, archaeologists obtain additional information regarding primitive humans living in the cave and how sedentism began. Remains of two children have been discovered thus far in Hotu cave, and archaeologists hope to find more information about humans living 12 thousand years ago. -Hadi Zand, ISNA 6/8/21

An exquisite new exhibition brings home my long obsession with Iran

I like the way life works in circles, taking you back to where you began. Last Tuesday, I was invited to the opening of the V&A's exhibition, Epic Iran, an event so thrilling for me that not even the sight of Oliver Dowden could dent my mood (distracted by a famous photograph of a girl making a bubble with her gum, I managed not to accost the culture secretary, keen though I am to know what he plans to do about the nation's beleaguered musicians, who now need visas to tour in Europe). -Rachel Cooke, Guardian 5/31/21

Gort Scott designs scenography for Epic Iran exhibition at V&A

Gort Scott has designed an immersive set for a new exhibition on Iran at the V&A, based on the concept of presenting the work as a 'City' The 10-section exhibition explores 5,000 years of Iranian art, design and culture and brings together more than 300 objects from ancient, Islamic and contemporary Iran. -Architects Journal 5/28/21

Five thousand years of mystical magnificence: Epic Iran at the V&A - review

Typical. You go for months without any culture, then 5,000 years of it come along at once. That's what the V&A's luxury coach tour of a blockbuster promises, and delivers, including quite brilliant recreations of Iran's two most renowned sites, Persepolis and Isfahan. Epic Iran shows there is a cultural history that connects the country as it is today with the people who lived here five millennia ago. -Jonathan Jones, Guardian 5/26/21

Photos: Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble

Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble was built in Ardabil Province of Iran in 1334. The ensemble, which is among the ten most important historical monuments in Iran, was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010. It is the resting place of the Safavid Dynasty's founder, Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili. The monument is an artistic and architectural masterpiece with a remarkable collection of antique artifacts. -Ali Anvar, ISNA 5/25/21

Experts busy demarcating great defensive wall as a prerequisite for UNESCO status

A team of archaeologists, topographers, and cultural heritage experts are completing a project to define legal boundaries for the ruins of the Great Wall of Gorgan, which was once one of the longest brick barriers of the ancient world. Stretched across Iran's northern Golestan province, the defensive wall is about 200 km in length and it was built to prevent the invasion of the northern tribes. It is said to be the longest architectural work of ancient Iran, which was built in 90 years. -Tehran Times 5/24/21

Iranian plateau in Pleistocene: a bridge between East and West

A new study reinforces a hypothesis that the Iranian plateau was like a bridge between East and West during the Pleistocene epoch, which began about 2.6 million years ago and lasted until about 11,700 years ago. In an article published in the International Research Journal of Modernization in Engineering Technology and Science (IRJMETS) in April 2021, Iranian researchers Mohsen Zeidi, Cyrus Barfi, and Shahram Zare concluded that the Iranian plateau served as a human migratory pathway in the Pleistocene. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 5/10/21

'Epic Iran' exhibition launches in London despite sanctions setbacks

Epic Iran is described by London's Victoria and Albert Museum as the first UK show in nearly a century to take on "an overarching narrative" spanning 5,000 years of Iranian art, design and culture. It ranges from ancient treasures to leaves of illuminated manuscripts of the Shahnameh, or Book of Kings, to Iranian modern and contemporary art. But continuing sanctions and global events - since the Covid crisis broke in March 2020 - mean that Epic Iran will have no loans from Iran itself of precious objects to show London audiences, organisers have confirmed. -Tim Cornwell, MEE 5/7/21

Persepolis restorers start work on Seljuk-era inscription

A team of cultural heritage restorers from the UNESCO-registered Persepolis has commenced work on a Seljuk-era (1037-1194) inscription, which is located in Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan province. "The lack of adequate restoration and protection caused further erosion and destruction of this historical monument," Mehr quoted Seyyed Amin Qasemi, the provincial tourism chief, as saying on Monday. 5/5/21

Radiological and histological findings in ancient salt mummies from the salt mine of Douzlakh, Iran

Computed tomography studies and histological analyses were performed on the mummified remains found in the Chehrabad salt mine in northwestern Iran. The ancient salt mummies are dated to the Achaemenid (550-330 BC) and Sassanid (3rd-7th century AD) time period and died in mining incidents. The aim of the study was to describe the radiological and histological findings of several ancient Iranian salt mummies with special interest in pathological and postmortem changes. -Lena Maria Ohrstrom, et al, PLOS ONE 5/4/21

Photos: Asad Khan Fortress in SW Iran

Asad Khan or Malekan fortress dates back to more than 1400 years ago. The 200-hectare, two-story high fortress is located on top of a high mountain near Andika County, Khuzestan Province, southwestern Iran. -Ahmad Riahi Dehkordi, IRNA 4/29/21

V&A restores casts of warriors that adorned ancient Iranian palace for once-in-a-lifetime display

New exhibition on 5,000 years of Iranian civilisation will feature museum's rarely seen replicas of life-sized friezes from King Darius's "very excellent" palace. Visitors to an exhibition opening next month at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) will meet the intimidating warriors that greeted visitors more than 2,500 years ago when they arrived at the gigantic Palace of Darius at Susa in Iran. -Art Newspaper 4/28/21

Photos: Historical Shush Castle in Khuzestan

The ancient city of Shush, located in Khuzestan Province, has many historical monuments. Shush Castle, dating back to over 120 years, is one of the most attractive historical sites in the Province. The castle features some historical materials such as the bricks of the palace of Darius the Great and bricks with cuneiform carved on them. In the beginning, French archeologists used the castle to protect discovered artifacts and conduct research into them. The castle attracts many tourists from all over the world annually. -Seyed Hamed Mousavi, ISNA 4/26/21

Photos: Ancient Palace of Ardeshir Babakan in Firuzabad, Iran

The photo album depicts the Palace of Ardeshir Babakan, also known as the Atash-kadeh in Firuzabad city, Firuzabad County, Fars Province, Iran. It is one of the most valuable and important artifacts left since the early Sassanid era (from 224 to 651 AD) in the country. -Reza Ghaderi, IRNA 4/23/21

Webinar: Epic Iran Curators' Talk

Join the curatorial team behind the upcoming exhibition Epic Iran as they give an overview of the show ahead of its opening date in late May. Epic Iran is the first major UK exhibition on Iran since 1931, and covers ancient, medieval and contemporary Iranian art, history and culture. It has been organised by the V&A with the Iran Heritage Foundation, in association with the Sarikhani Collection. -Iran Heritage Foundation 4/16/21

How different countries celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year

The UN has marked 21 March as International Nowruz Day - a celebration of spring and the connection between humans and nature. Here, we look at the similarities between, and peculiarities across, the nations that commemorate this ancient rite. -Farida Zeynalova, National Geographic 3/19/21

Iranzamin Exhibition at Powerhouse Museum in Sydney

Iranzamin (Land of the Persians) is the first survey exhibition of Persian arts and crafts acquired by the Powerhouse Museum since its founding in 1880. It explores the stories behind rarely seen artefacts from the middle of the 19th century to now, shedding light on the diverse social and cultural history of Persia - today's Iran - and its people. 3/12/21

Hegmataneh Hill one step closer to World Heritage registration

Iran is completing an all-inclusive dossier for the mysterious Hegmataneh Hill to have it registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The ruined Hegmataneh (Ecbatana) which is partly beneath the modern city of Hamedan (the capital city), is widely believed to be once a mysterious capital of Medes. According to ancient Greek writers, the city was founded in about 678 BC by Deioces, who was the first king of the Medes. 3/10/21

UNESCO celebrates 1,750th anniversary of Iran's Gundi-Shapur University

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azulay has expressed delight over the 1,750th anniversary of the University of Gundi-Shapur, which has long been a major forum for science. "Since its creation, this university, the intellectual capital of the Sassanid Empire, has been a major center for producing knowledge, a truly universal forum for science. It is this idea that we celebrate today," Azoulay said in a written message, addressing the 3rd international congress on Gundi-Shapur 3/9/21

Buried for 4,000 years, this ancient culture could expand the 'Cradle of Civilization'

Flooding in 2001 near Jiroft, Iran, exposed the ruins of an ancient necropolis from a Bronze Age culture that flourished alongside Mesopotamia. -Antomio Ratti, National Geographic 2/26/21

The evil empire

The title of this exhibition is a bit misleading. Forgotten Empire, the British Museum calls its spectacular resurrection of ancient Persia. Yet the Persians are as notorious in their way as Darth Vader, the Sheriff of Nottingham, General Custer, or any other embodiment of evil empire you care to mention. They are history's original villains. -Jonathan Jones, Guardian 2/12/21

Ruins of majestic historical gateway unearthed near Persepolis

The ruins of a majestic historical gateway, built upon the order of Cyrus the Great, who was the founder of the mighty Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550 - 330 BC), have been unearthed near the UNESCO-registered Persepolis in southern Iran, Iranian researchers said on Monday. Supervised by a joint mission of Iranian and Italian archaeologists and cultural heritage experts, the dig uncovered vestiges of a massive gateway measuring 30 by 40 meters with a height of approximately 12 meters. 2/9/21

Photos: Sadeh Festival celebrated in Yazd

Zoroastrian Festival of Sadeh was celebrated in Yazd, Iran late on Friday with a limited audience and observing health protocols due to the coronavirus pandemic. The photos pertain to Zoroastrian Youth Club beside Zoroastrians Fire Temple in Yazd. -Masoud Mir Jalili 2/1/21

Publication of 'Studies in Ancient Persia and the Achaemenid Period'

The Iran Heritage Foundation is pleased to announce the recent publication of a book entitled Studies in Ancient Persia and the Achaemenid Period, edited by John Curtis, the Academic Director of IHF. The book is published by James Clarke & Co and has been sponsored by IHF. 1/28/21

Iran offers to help Iraq reconstruct damaged archaeological masterpiece

Part of a famed arch that was part of an ancient Persian palace in Iraq collapsed around the beginning of the year, and Iran has expressed its readiness to help rebuild it. Iran's minister of cultural heritage, Ali Asghar Mounesan, said Iranian archaeologists are ready to help rebuild the ancient Taq Kasra arch following the collapse of a section of it. -Adnan Abu Zeed, Al Monitor 1/26/21

Photos: Vermal citadel In Hamoon, Sistan-Baluchestan Province of Iran

Vermal citadel is one of the greatest archeological masterpieces in the province and is being destroyed by natural erosion. Recent studies show that Vermal citadel due to the fact that it has all the characteristics of traditional Sistan-Baluchestan Province architecture such as ventilation system, space division, beautiful decorations and the presence of Asbad, prison is not seen any other structures of Sistan. -Hamed Gholami, IRNA 1/20/21

Archaeologists to make final attempt to unearth Laodicea Temple in Nahavand, Iran

Iranian archaeologists will be making a final attempt to unearth the ruins of the enigmatic Laodicea Temple, believed to be buried under the modern town of Nahavand in Hamedan province, west-central Iran. The sixth and the last archaeology season has been scheduled to possibly unearth the main structure of Laodicea Temple, Nahavand's tourism chief Mohsen Khanjan announced on Sunday. 1/12/21

The 2,000-year-old Wonder Women who inspired the comic

The contemporary superheroine has a backstory inspired by Greek mythology, which in turn was inspired by real-life ancient warrior women. Experts have identified depictions of the women in battle with Greek men on vases and other ceramics as dressed in Persian-style clothing. By the 470s, the Greeks began to refer to portrayals of the Persians as the Amazons, turning their real-life adversaries into mythological folklore. Even the word "Amazon", meaning "warrior", is likely rooted in the Iranian language. -Kimiya Shokoohi, BBC 1/12/21

Photos: Renovation of historical houses in Isfahan

East of Isfahan has numerous historical monuments that are supposed to be rebuilt and renovated with the aim of the tourism boom, which will lead to the development of the tourism industry in this region. -Zahra Baghban, IRNA 1/5/21

Photos: Dahaneh Gholaman in eastern Iran

Dahaneh-e Gholaman is a town located 57 km from Zabol in the northern areas of Sistan and Baluchestan province. Italian archeologists discovered the town in 1959. The town is named after a natural canyon, where slave traders brought African slaves into Iran for sale. -Hamed Gholami, IRNA 12/31/20

Photo exhibit explores erosion of ancient Iranian bas-reliefs

An exhibition of photos depicting the erosion of a selection of ancient Iranian bas-reliefs will open on Monday at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. The three-day exhibition has been organized under the auspices of the ministry's Research Center for Conservation of Cultural Relics as part of their programs for National Research Week. 12/21/20

Exhibition: Epic Iran

Opening in February 2021, Epic Iran will explore 5,000 years of Iranian art, design and culture, bringing together more than 300 objects from ancient, Islamic and contemporary Iran. It will be the UK's first major exhibition in 90 years to present an overarching narrative of Iran from 3000 BC to the present day. Epic Iran is organised by the V&A with the Iran Heritage Foundation in association with The Sarikhani Collection. -IHF 12/18/20

Photos: Autumn view of Taq-e Bostan

Taq-e Bostan, which literally means "arch or the garden", is a historical site in western Iranian city of Kermanshah. The arch, carved in stone on a hillside with the same name, dates back to Sassanid Empire of Persia around the 4th century CE. In the following series of images, you can see an autumn view of the site on December 14, 2020. -Bahman Zarei, IRNA 12/17/20

Photos: Rooftops come to life again in Yazd

Most people living in the historic city of Yazd used the rooftops of their traditional houses for resting in the cold night air in summers. Gradually, fewer houses were built with the same rooftops as those in traditional houses because of changes in the construction and people's lives. But, people and tourists have become more interested in spending time on the rooftops of traditional houses in Yazd city. -Baharak Roshanbakhsh, ISNA 12/15/20

5,000 years in 350 objects: Victoria and Albert Museum reveals details about its epic 'immersive' Iran show

Just as London museums are closing down again due to heightened Covid-19 restrictions, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has optimistically announced further details about its forthcoming 2021 blockbuster survey on Iran. Epic by name and epic by nature, this exhibition will cover an ambitious 5,000 years of Iranian history through 350 objects. -Art Newspaper 12/15/20

New study tells tale of Qoroq shipwreck found in northern Iran

A fresh scientific study has shed a new light on the fate of a centuries-old shipwreck, which was found in 2005 in northern Iran. A team of researchers from the Iranian National Institute for Oceanography and Atmospheric Science (INIOAS) and the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT), in collaboration with researchers from France and Malta, has recently published the results of their research on the Qoroq historical shipwreck in a prestigious international journal. 11/27/20

What Archaeology Can Achieve in US-Iran Relations

In the 1920s, relations between the United States and Iran had reached a low point. According to historian James F. Goode, the American charge d'affairs at the time, Hugh Millard, wrote to the US State Department's Near East Bureau Chief, Wallace Murray, stating that there had been "one flub after another in American efforts in Persia" but that '"archaeology is about the only thing [the United States] are likely to be interested in which stands much chance of bringing results." -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 11/25/20

Photos: Karkouy fire temple in Iran

Fire temple (Atashkadeh in Persian) is a place where followers of Zoroastrianism make fire and perform their religious ceremonies. The photo album depicts the Karkouy fire temple which is located in Hirmand County in the Sistan and Baluchestan Province of Iran. -Hamed Gholami, IRNA 11/23/20

Iran Archaeology is Awaiting a Sanctions Breakthrough

Cooperation in the field of archaeology between Iranian and foreign researchers has a long history. In my academic research, I am currently combing the archives associated with all the major American archaeological expeditions to Iran, beginning in 1930 and continuing until 1978, focusing on the activities of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, the Oriental Institute, the Field Museum, the Boston Fine Arts Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, among others. -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 11/20/20

Museum Diplomacy Falters in the Face of Iran Sanctions

In 1926, Alexander Upham Pope, an art historian, collector, and dealer who specialized in Iranian art, was contracted by the Iranian government to design the Persian Pavilion at the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia. The centerpiece of the exhibition was a replica of the magnificent Safavid-era mosque Masjid-e Shah from Naqsh-e Jahan square in Isfahan, which sat in what is now the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park and the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia... -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 11/13/20

Angry TV film-makers stop release of lauded Iranian documentary

Coup 53, which charts MI6's role in the shah's restoration, has been blocked by makers of an 1985 show, who say it sullies their names. Made over 10 years by Walter Murch, the celebrated editor of Apocalypse Now and The English Patient, in collaboration with the Anglo-Iranian director Taghi Amirani, it tells the story of covert British intervention in Iran after the second world war and stars Ralph Fiennes, left, as an MI6 spy in a reconstruction of a key incident. -Vanessa Thorpe, Guardian 11/2/20

American Policy Casts a Shadow Over Persepolis

Five years ago, I traveled to Iran to attend a conference in Tehran, The International Congress of Young Archaeologists (ICYA). It was my second time participating in this biannual event, which was and is the most important conference for students and early career researchers specializing in Iranian archaeology. On my first trip in 2013, I was one of only three Americans who made the journey... -Kyle G. Olson, Bourse & Bazaar 10/30/20

Steve House in Kashan, Iran Wins Golden Plaque

Steve House in Kashan, which is a specialized gallery with a focus on photography, has received a gold license plaque. Mizan Architecture Event, in summer 2020, selected its winners from among 70 architectural projects. Steve House was established in the neighborhood of Kohneh Square in Kashan, near the oldest building in the city, by Hossein Farmani and with the cooperation of Hossein Roshanbakht and Hassan Roshanbakht on June 14, 2019. -Honar online 10/22/20

How filmmaker Khosrow Sinai uncovered the hidden history of Polish refugees in Iran

Iranian filmmaker Khosrow Sinai passed away in August from COVID-19, leaving behind an important and eye-opening document of Polish exodus during the Second World War. His documentary The Lost Requiem is now available to watch free online. - Aga Sablinska, Calvert Journal 10/7/20

Enlightenment On Middle Eastern History And Culture Through Artwork

Assyria. Babylonia. Persia. These ancient empires covered an area generally consisting of modern-day Iraq and Iran. Museum goers can learn more about these cultures through exhibitions of their artistic expressions across North America. When Western audiences imagine artwork from this region, carpets often first come to mind. One of the most extraordinary examples of which can be seen now at the Aga Khan Museum, 15 minutes outside of downtown Toronto. -Chadd Scott, Forbes 10/6/20

Photos: Ittihadiyeh House in Tehran

The garden house belonged to Amin ul-Sultan, the prime minister of Nasser al-Din Shah, Muzaffar al-Din Shah, and Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar. The house was bought by Haj Rahim Ittihadiyeh after the death of Amin ul-Sultan. Over time, this historic house was dilapidated and ruined. Now it is owned by the Tehran Municipality and is being renovated. -Davoud Ghahrdar, IRNA 10/6/20

"City of Belqeys" prosperous in late Sassanid, early Islamic eras: Expert

Shahr-e Belqeys ("City of Belqeys"), situated in northeastern Iran, was prosperous during a span of time from the late Sassanid era to early Islamic times, a cultural heritage expert has said. "Though [previous] archaeological excavations at nearby mounts and hilltops put the antiquity of Belqeys at some 6,000 years, it enjoyed prosperity from the late Sassanid to the early Islamic eras," ILNA quoted Hossein Rahmani, director of the Belqeys national heritage, as saying on Tuesday. 9/30/20

Kashan, home to architectural wonders, labyrinthine bazaars

A photo collection depicts variety of architectural wonders such as atmospheric houses, covered labyrinthine bazaars, public bathhouses, madrasas, caravanserais, mudbrick wind-towers, cisterns, Persian gardens and boutique hotels scattered across the oasis city of Kashan. Many travelers opt to bypass Kashan on their journeys between Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd, to visit its must-see destinations on the edge of one of the most beautiful deserts in central Iran. -Samira Nazari, Tehran Times 9/16/20

The Persian Invasions of Greece Reconsidered: Online talk by Professor Nicholas Sekunda

The 2500th anniversary of the Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis in 2021 and that of Plataea in 2022 provides a good opportunity to reconsider the Persian invasion of Greece in the light of modern scholarship and a critical analysis of the Greek texts. This lecture seeks to demonstrate that the number of Achaemenid forces sent against Greece is unknown, and that the figures given by Herodotus are falsely constructed. The defeats of Salamis and Plataea are undeniable, but they have to be put into their context of an already overstretched Empire fighting on the absolute periphery of its possibilities.​ -Iran Heritage Foundation 9/10/20

Third Parthian skeleton unearthed in Isfahan

Iranian archaeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient human in a prehistorical mount in Isfahan, central Iran, saying that is "the third Parthian skeleton" being unearthed there over the past couple of weeks. The Parthian Empire (247 BC - 224 CE), also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. 9/9/20

Archaeological survey finds prehistorical hatch to Apadana Palace in Persepolis

Archaeologists have recently discovered a prehistorical hatch to Apadana Palace, a majestic ruined royal complex within the UNESCO-registered Persepolis, southern Iran. "The hatch was discovered in the eastern part of Apadana Palace, and it was created during the Achaemenid period to repel the surface water of the courtyard, and after this period, it was hidden due to the destruction of the complex," said archaeologist Ali Asadi who leads a survey at the ruined palace 9/8/20

'Mantis man' drawing captures ancient fascination with insects

"Mantis man" may sound like a pirate version of Marvel's superhero, but it's actually the nickname given to an unusual petroglyph discovered in central Iran. Prehistoric rock art depicts a six-legged figure that appears to be inspired by the insect known as the praying mantis. Archaeologists and entomologists teamed up to analyze the petroglyph. Their study, which was published in the Journal of Orthoptera Research, suggests that the figure may be a combination of a praying mantis and a man. -James Ashley, The Bulletin Time 9/8/20

Photos: Dovecotes of Mazrae Gavart Village

Mazrae Gavart is a village located in the east of Isfahan Province. There are old dovecotes in the village, known as Borj-e Kabootar in Persian, which means Pigeon Tower. Over two thousand pigeons live in a dovecote of Mazrae Gavart Village, while some of them used to be home to nearly 20,000 pigeons. -Saman Khoshpeyman, ISNA 8/21/20

Darak, where desert meets sea, added to Iran's National Heritage list

The coastal village of Darak in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan has recently been inscribed on the National Heritage list, CHTN reported. Located between the two important port cities of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas, Darak is one of the few places in the world where the sea and the desert meet. Darak or Darag in the local language means settling along the sea. 8/18/20

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