Azar 21 1398 - December 12 2019
Conference in Paris - Tappeh Sialk: A Key Site for the Archaeology of Iran

​The site of Tappeh Sialk in Iran was excavated by the archaeologist Roman Ghirshman between 1933 and 1937, exposing whole areas of the ancient cultures of the plateau, from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. The objective of this conference will be to take stock, 80 years after the publication of Ghirshman's work, on the history of this site and on its central role for Iranian archaeology. -Iran Heritage Foundation 11/21/19

Irish Museum hosts exhibition on ancient Persian prophet MANI

The Persian prophet Mani created a new religion in the 3rd century AD. He believed the world is a struggle between the forces of dark and light which ultimately causes the release of the light-soul from the material body. The Persian Emperor, Shapur I, allowed Mani to freely promote his ideas through the empire but later, following the pressure of Zoroastrian priests, Bahram I arrested Mani. -Pejman Akbarzadeh 11/8/19

Visit Tappeh Mill, one of the most ancient temples in Iran

Of the buildings that still remain from the early years of civilization, are the ancient temples. Given the importance of religion for the mankind, it's not surprising that these spiritual sites were built using topmost architectural innovations of the time in imposing scales. 11/4/19

Newly-found petroglyph in western Iran may have link to Mithraism

A newly-discovered rock-carving in western Iran could have a link to Mithraism, a prehistorical religion inspired by Iranian worship of the Zoroastrian god Mithra. Some Iranian archaeologists suggest that the carving was created by a follower of Mithraism as it depicts a simple portrayal of a human with his right hand raised and an object in his hand. But, experts say it needs much more study in order to date the petroglyph. 11/1/19

The screening of 'COUP 53' in Manhattan

After ten protracted, nonetheless, scrupulous years of research and interviews, and arduous scripts writing and productions, COUP 53, the historical two hour chilling thriller documentary of the British MI6 and the American CIA's bloody covert actions against IRAN, which led to the overthrow of the first and perhaps the last ever democratically elected prime minster Dr. Mohammad Mosadegh, went on SVA Theatre silver screen in Manhattan on October 18. -Davood N. Rahni 10/22/19

Iran displays 300 Achaemenid tablets returned from U.S. after judicial saga

The National Museum of Iran is exhibiting some 300 cuneiform tablets returned from the United States following a judicial saga. Originally from the ruins of Persepolis, capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire (559-330 B.C,) in southern Iran, these works belong to a batch of 1,783 tablets or pieces of clay tablets returned Monday by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. 10/3/19

Genome study shows that Iran's population is more heterogeneous than previously believed

An international research team including scientists from the University of Cologne, Germany, numerous Iranian universities and the University of Sydney, Australia, has shown that today's Iranian population is composed of partially highly heterogeneous ethnic groups, exhibiting a high degree of genetic variation. In many cases, their source goes back many thousands of years. The results, obtained from the first genome-wide genetic characterization of the Iranian population by this team, appeared in PLOS Genetics under the title 'Distinct genetic variation and heterogeneity of the Iranian population'. 9/25/19

Crowdfunding Campaign: First Documentary on Persian Fortress DARBAND in Russia

The Sasanian Fortress in Darband was built in the 6th century AD to protect the Persian Empire from invasion by nomadic peoples to the north. The defensive structures remained in continuous use by the succeeding Persian, Arab and Turkish forces until the Russian invasion in the 19th century. 8/12/19

Which "Gulf" Do They Mean?

If you've ever wondered how historical realities can be sacrificed and manipulated in the service of myopic political goals, there is a great example for you to follow in your daily roundup of international news offered by the mainstream media. While reading through coverage of current Middle Eastern affairs in international newspapers, magazines, and news websites, it's very common for readers to come across the words "the Gulf." -Kourosh Ziabari 8/7/19

The ancient art of making ships in southern Iran

Maritime trade, shipping and shipbuilding have long been practiced in Iran. There have been many small or big shipyards across the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf. If you are planning to travel to the southernmost parts of the country, we suggest to visit the Persian Gulf in trace of seeing the process of crafting and sailing traditional Lenj boats, which has passed down from father to son. The hand-built vessels are used for sea journeys, trading, fishing and pearl diving. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 8/6/19

Happy Tirgan: The Festival of Rain

Tirgan also known as Jashn-e Tirgan (The feast of Tiregan) is an ancient Iranian festival coinciding with the mid summer festivals. The feast of Tirgan is an ancient Iranian celebration, which is still celebrated among Iranian Zoroastrians, Parsis of India and some Iranian Muslims in various parts of Iran. 7/4/19

UNESCO to assess Iran's Hyrcanian Forest for World Heritage

On June 30, the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee kicked off in Baku, Azerbaijan, to assess 36 nominees, including Iran's Hyrcanian Forest, for possible inscription on the World Heritage list. Hyrcanian Forest (also known as Caspian Forest), extends from the south of Azerbaijan to about 900 km to the east to the Iranian northern provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan. 7/3/19

Iranian Caravanserais And Time Travel To Forgotten Ages

For many travelers to Iran, staying in or even visiting a centuries-old caravanserai, can be a wide experience; they have an opportunity to feel the past, a time travel back into a forgotten age!. Such roadside inns were originally built in various epochs along ancient caravan routes in the Muslim world to shelter people, their goods and animals. The former Silk Roads may be the most famous example dotted by caravanserais. -Afshin Majlesi, Tehran Times 6/4/19

Doors of ancient underground "city" in Hamedan, Iran opened to archaeologists

A team of archaeologists has commenced an extensive research on a centuries-old underground "city", which is located in Salehabad district of Hamedan province, west-central Iran, ISNA reported on Friday. The site, estimated to date 800 years, was found some three years ago but the story wasn't publicized in order to prevent any possible looting from the underground city before the appropriation of credits for the beginning of studies, a provincial tourism official Ahmad Torabi said. 5/27/19

Tehran exhibit hosts retrospective of veteran locksmith Hossein Shams

Tens of traditional-looking locks by Hossein Shams were exhibited at the headquarters of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in Tehran as a retrospective of the 71-year-old Iranian locksmith. Works by Shams, who has 62 years of experience in this field, have been put on show at 52 national or international exhibitions, CHTN reported on Tuesday. -Tehran Times 5/23/19

Interview with Ashk Dahlen, author of The Persian Empire

Ashk Dahlen was born in Tehran in 1972 and has lived most of his life in Sweden. He is Associate Professor in Iranian Languages at Uppsala University and his field of study covers Persian literature, Iranian history of religion and philosophy. Ashk Dahlen is the author of several books and articles on Iranian history and among his recent publications is Antikens Persien (in Swedish). 5/14/19

PHOTOS: Fire Damages Historic Bazaar In Tabriz, Iran

Fire started at the historical roofed bazaar in the capital city of East Azarbaijan Province, Tabriz, in early hours of Thursday. The fire has been fully put out, according to the head of the province's crisis management department. About 100 shops were damaged in the fire and 19 people were injured. 5/10/19

FM Zarif hails Persian Gulf as Iran's lifeline on national day

Iran is commemorating the National Day of the Persian Gulf. Honoring the occasion, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has highlighted the significance of the strategic body of water, describing it as a "lifeline" for the country. Every year, Iranians observe the Persian Gulf Day on the 10th of Ordibehesht, the second month on the Persian calendar, which usually falls on April 30. -Press TV 4/30/19

Total Negligence of the role of the Iranians in Moslem (Islamic) Civilization in Cat Stevens - Yusuf Islam's book, Why I still Carry a Guitar

As an old 'fan' of Cat Stevens, I do find myself indebted to his songs and music, and as a Moslem emotionally think the same with Yusuf Islam's book Why I still carry a Guitar. From one perspective he is telling Hadith Nafs (my story or my Ego's story) in this book; relieving an ignoramus' suppressed anger, resentment... piled up all these long years, in relation of how Moslems are depicted largely in the West, as some barbarous peoples, Pagans, terrorists and... and... and... Thanking the author again and again, for his hard endeavor to show the other face of Islam. Yet,... -Roya Monajem, Tehran 4/24/19

Tehran Municipality negotiating to restore Taq Kasra in Iraq

Tehran Municipality is in talks with Baghdad's urban planners and authorities to restore a number of aging monuments in Iraq including Taq Kasra, which is an architecturally-important Sasanian-era Persian monument. Taq Kasra, also called Ivan Madaen or the Archway of Ctesiphon, are names given to the remains of a circa 3rd-6th-century Sasanian-era Persian monument, which is located near the modern town of Salman Pak, a city located approximately 15 miles south of Baghdad. 4/23/19

Iranian sculptor Masoud Akhavanjam presents two new sculptures in the Giardini Marinaressa alongside 2019 Venice Biennale

Iranian sculptor Masoud Akhavanjam will exhibit two large scale, stainless steel sculptures, as part of the GAA Foundation's PERSONAL STRUCTURES - open borders exhibition, in the context of the 2019 Venice Biennale. The sculptures, Dilemma of Man and Metamorphosis will be exhibited publicly in Venice's waterfront park, Giardini Marinaressa from 5 May to 29 November 2019. Akhavanjam's industrial yet delicate forms draw on philosophy, contemporary socio-political issues and Persian mythology, so that within each work a didactic tale is contained. Both works contain three visible figures, melded seemingly effortlessly into each other. 4/20/19

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, A World Heritage Site, Unaffected By Flooding

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, a UNESCO-registered ensemble in southwest Iran which is known as a 'masterpiece of creative genius', has not been affected by flash floods and heavy rainfall that stroke almost all of the country in the past weeks. The ensemble comprises bridges, weirs, tunnels, canals and a series of ancient watermills powered by human-made waterfalls. It is named after an ancient city of the same name with its history dating back to the time of Darius the Great, the Achaemenid king. 4/16/19

1,000 Years of Literary Tradition in Rare Persian-Language Manuscripts Now Online at Library of Congress

In celebration of the Persian New Year, also known as Norooz, the Library of Congress has digitized and made available online for the first time the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection, which sheds light on scientific, religious, philosophical and literary topics that are highly valued in the Persian speaking lands. 4/4/19

Floods Threaten Iran's Ancient Relics As Cracks On Historic Walls Widen

Some of Iran's age-old cultural heritage sites have been reportedly damaged as a result of heavy rainfall and extreme weather during recent days. Reports from Iran say some ancient relics have also been affected by floods in various parts of Iran. -Radio Farda 3/27/19

Taq Kasra, A Sasanian-Era Persian Monument, Partially Collapses

On 7 March 2019, parts of Taq Kasra collapsed only two years after the completion of a conservation operation by Avers. The Czech firm had been commissioned by the Iraqi Ministry of Culture. Taq Kasra, also known as the Arch of Ctesiphon, is the world's largest brick vault and the symbol of the Persian Empire in the Sasanian era (224-651 AD). The monument is located about 35 km south of Baghdad, in modern-day Iraq, which was, at the time, part of Persia. -TaqKasra.com 3/25/19

PHOTOS: Authentic Iranian Architecture And Culture In Kashan

Only three hours from the capital Tehran, the central city of Kashan in Isfahan province can definitely be deemed as a marvelous get-away for many urbanites who yearn for the authenticity of traditional Iranian culture and architecture. Travelers to Kashan can visit numerous historical houses from the 18th and 19th centuries that illustrate the finest examples of architecture from the Qajar era. -Behnam Yousefi, MNA 3/24/19

International Norooz Day celebrated in Geneva

The International Norooz Day, marking the Persian New Year and arrival of spring, was celebrated in the Swiss city of Geneva on March 21, hosted by Iran and ten other countries. The ceremony was held at the World Intellectual Property Organization building in Geneva on March 21, marking the beginning of the Persian New Year and arrival of spring. 3/22/19

Norooz Spring Festival kicks off Persian New Year celebrations

People gathered in Union Square Saturday, March 9, 2019 to commence Persian New Year Celebrations. Norooz (also spelled Nowruz) takes place on March 21 this year, however traditional activities happen for the weeks before and after the actual date. This event was hosted by Norooz Outreach and is the first event in what they anticipate will be an annual recurrence. -SF Examnanier 3/11/19

Triumph of Self-Empowerment over Darkened Despotic Tyranny

Legend has it that once upon a distant past juncture, ZaHawk a mythological, tyrannical, unjust, and cruel despot, ruled over Persia. Confiscating an ambivalent hiatus with his absolute power, he crowned himself on the Persian peacock throne as if he was immortal and anointed by an imaginary vengeful supreme. He reigned with iron fist, suffocating people with hegemony and heavy taxations over the vast Persian Empire to the fatal detriment of most inhabitants he mistreated as his serfs and slaves. -Davood N. Rahni 3/5/19

VERNADOC documenting historical windmills (Asbads) in Iran

The International Camp of Vernacular Architecture Documentation (VERNADOC) have commenced documenting arrays of the centuries-old windmills, located in eastern parts of Iran. Vertical-axis windmills, which are locally known as "Asbads", are scattered in the provinces of Sistan-Baluchestan, Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan. They bear testimony to the human being's adaption with the nature through turning environmental obstacles into opportunities. 3/5/19

Ancient Engraved Signatures Of Masons Found In Sivand, Iran

Iranian archaeologists have discovered some huge building stones that bear signatures thought to be engraved by prehistoric masons. The huge stones were found in an Achaemenid-era mine in Sivand some 32 km from Pasargadae. Apparently, the stones were left there, since Cyrus the Great passed away and his construction plan never finished, the archaeologist explained. -Tehran Times 3/3/19

Experience the Largest Nowruz Celebration in the USA: March 10 at UCLA

The most colorful and lively festival of the year marking the arrival of spring, The Farhang Foundation Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) is back. This event has become the largest Nowruz festival in the United States. The special celebration brings together a variety of programming and excitement for all ages to enjoy. The daylong festival is free and open to the public for the 11th Annual Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) celebration at UCLA's Dickson Court, taking place on Sunday, March 10, 2019. 3/2/19

Envoys, Cultural Figures To Mark Persian New Year Norooz In Tehran

Tehran's Milad Tower will host an international ceremony in honor of Persian New Year or Norooz on February 28. Ambassadors, diplomats and cultural figures of various countries have been invited for the event, Mehr reported on Monday. 2/28/19

In and Out of the Imagination: Locating the Women of Achaemenid Persia

Women are notoriously difficult to find in the indigenous sources of Achaemenid Iran. They are not absent, indeed sources show that royal women could be powerful, wealthy, and influential, but their presence has to be filtered through a range of diverse sources. There is no large-scale presence of women in official Achaemenid art, but that is not to say that the iconography does not exist. In this lecture, Prof. Llewellyn-Jones will bring together the visual representations of women from across the Achaemenid empire and explore the diversity of female 'types' encountered in small-scale artworks like seal images, jewellery and textiles. 2/21/19

Norooz, Persian New Year, added to Vancouver calendar of events

Vancouver has added Norooz, the Persian new year festivity, to its official celebrations and observations calendar. Vancouver City Council has put the event on the calendar of the Canadian metropolis to recognize an intangible heritage of Iranians and other immigrants who celebrate the first day of the spring and the renewal of nature, IRNA reported on Saturday. 2/5/19

Iran Says It Has traced Two Ancient Sculptures Stolen Decades Ago

Tehran has claimed that it has traced two more Achaemenid bas-relief sculptures stolen from Iran nearly ninety years ago. "We have exactly located the stolen pieces and already started negotiation to take them back," the chief of Iran Cultural Heritage Organization, Ali Asghar Mounesan maintained in a radio show. -Radio Farda 1/31/19

Belqeys Citadel in North Khorasan, Iran sees 55% more visitors

The ruined citadel, which is sometimes referred to as Shahr-e Belqeys ("The city of Belqeys") is located in northeastern North Khorasan province. It lies at a short distance from the city of Esfarayen. Remnants of the citadel, family lodgings, irrigation channels, a cistern, and a hypostyle hall are amongst objects so far been unearthed in Belqeys during rounds of excavation. 1/6/19

Shahr-e Sokhta yields rare 4000-year-old relics

Iran's UNESCO-registered Shahr-e Sokhta has yielded tens of rare relics which date back to over 4000 years ago, IRNA reported on Tuesday. "A total of 26 burial chambers have been unearthed recently that led to discovery of potteries, beads, small metal objects and a piece of marble torch," said Seyyed Mansour Seyyed Sajjadi who led the site's 17th archaeological season. 12/28/18

Iranian windmills a step closer to UNESCO listing

Iran's cultural heritage body has almost completed preparations for a chain of ancient vertical-axis windmills for possibly becoming a UNESCO World Heritage. Vertical-axis windmills, which are locally known as "asbads" can be found in Sistan-Baluchestan, South Khorasan and Khorasan Razavi provinces, southeast, south, and northeast of the country, respectively. 12/28/18

Iran's saffron farming system wins FAO world heritage status

A traditional saffron cultivation system in Iran has won recognition from FAO as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS). Titled "Saffron Farming System based on Qanat irrigation in Gonabad, Iran", the credit reflects a unique way to produce nutritious foods and/or spices using traditional knowledge and skills while improving local people's livelihoods and preserving biodiversity, FAO website reported on December 21. -Tehran Times 12/26/18

Thousands of Achaemenid-era clay tablets to be sent back to Iran from Chicago

Over 11,000 flawless [Achaemenid-era] clay tablets and a large number of fragments of their kind will be back home, Iran tourism chief said on Wednesday. "Of the cited number, 1784 clay tablets have been endorsed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in order to be shipped to Iran, in the first stage," Ali-Asghar Mounesan said, CHTN reported. -Tehran Times 12/17/18

Tehran conference exploring an "Iran in Transition"

Political and social developments of Iran in the early 19th-century is being addressed in a two-day conference, which on Monday opened at the University of Tehran. Titled "L'Iran en transition: de la revolution constitutionnelle a la fin de l'ere qajare," the event is explores the Persian Constitutional Revolution, also known as the Constitutional Revolution of Iran, that took place between 1905 and 1911. 12/17/18

5500-year-old human skeleton on display in Neyshabur, Iran

A human skeleton, which dates from some 5,500 years ago, has been put on show at the museum of archaeology in the city of Neyshabur, northeast Iran. A team of archaeologist discovered the skeleton in 2004 while surveying a trench in Tapeh Borj, an archaeological site, near Neyshabur -Tehran Times 11/16/18

Shiraz MP Accuses Rouhani Of Suppressing Iran's Pre-Islamic History

In a fiery speech to parliament October 21, outspoken businessman and pro-reform MP Bahram Parsaei lambasted President Rouhani for suppressing Iran's pre-Islamic history. Representing the city of Shiraz, home to the 2,500 year-old ruins of Pasargadae, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire, Parsaei had proposed naming October 29 as a day in honor of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire. -Radio Farda 10/23/18

An ancient engineering feat that harnessed the wind

Iran's wind catchers stand as a reminder of how ancient civilisations have adapted to the region's harsh desert environment. -Shervin Abdolhamidi, BBC 9/28/18

US' Smithsonian Institution Celebrated the History of Ancient Persian Capital

On September 15, 2018, for the first time in the United States, the Smithsonian Institution celebrated the history of the ancient capital of Persia Ctesiphon (Tisfun). Located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River near present-day Baghdad, Ctesiphon served as a royal capital of the Persian Empire in the Parthian and Sasanian eras for over eight hundred years. 9/27/18

US hands ancient Persian bas-relief back to Iran

On the orders of a New York Supreme Court judge, a $1.2-million ancient Persian bas-relief has been handed back to Iran after more than 80 years of changing hands among smugglers, Press TV reports. Iran's Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam-Ali Khoshrou said Tuesday that the limestone sculpture, which dates back to around 500 B.C., had been delivered to him. 9/5/18

Meybod, Iran: Open-air museum of ancient watermills

Some 50 kilometers north of Yazd, central Iran, lies the sprawling mud-brick city of Meybod, whose tourism officials are planning to internationally promote it as the "city of watermills". Meybod seeks UNESCO status for long being a cradle of watermills and for its cultural evolution of water supply through the millennia, ISNA reported. 8/16/18

Photos: Lunar eclipse at historical Persepolis

Shots of the moon eclipse were captured by IRNA photographer Reza Ghaderi beside the ancient city of Persepolis, near the city of Shiraz in southern Iran. The so-called blood moon was visible at different times in most parts of the world when the sun, earth and moon lined up perfectly, casting earth's shadow on the moon. People gathered to watch the longest eclipse of the century in Iran. 7/30/18

U.S. judge rules return of Achaemenid-era relief to Iran: Prehistoric "Persian guard" on the way home

A U.S. judge said on Monday an Achaemenid-era (550-330 BC) bas-relief should be returned to Iran, where the object was originally stolen from some 80 years ago. The limestone relief, which depicts a Persian guard, was confiscated in October from the Park Avenue Armory in New York, where it was being offered for sale at an art fair, the New York Times reported. 7/26/18

Iran's ancient engineering marvel

What on Earth are those? I thought to myself shortly before landing in the Iranian city of Esfahan one summer. From the aeroplane window, I could see what looked like a cross between freakishly large anthills and obscure symbols left by an extraterrestrial race. Little could I - then only a teenager - have guessed what lay beneath their mysterious surfaces. -Joobin Bekhrad, BBC 6/20/18

PHOTOS: Skillful women engaged in embroidery in Kerman, Iran

The skill of crafting embroideries with geometric patterns and vivid colors has passed down from generation to generation in Kerman, southwestern Iran. Many women are engaged in this craft which helps supplement their household's income. -Sare Tajalli 6/19/18

CONFERENCE: Tappeh Sialk and Ancient Kashan Revisited

Following on from last year's highly successful conference about Tappeh Sialk, IHF is organising another seminar which will feature talks by international experts, as well as looking at how this significant Iranian site can be more widely recognised and promoted in the future. July 2nd & 3rd in London -Iran Heritage Foundation 6/8/18

Reza Shah's Residence In Mauritius For Sale

Iran's Foreign Ministry is set to sell three estates owned by Iran in sub-Saharan Africa, including a previous residence of Reza Shah, who was forced to abdicate the throne by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1941. -Radio Farda 5/7/18

US, Israel proxies behind bid to rename Persian Gulf: Iranian official

A senior Iranian official says attempts by the proxies of the global arrogance to change the name of the Persian Gulf are "futile and temporary." Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said on Sunday that the Persian Gulf belongs to Iranians based on all Arab and Iranian documents, remarks by historians and maps in museums. 4/30/18

The Mummified Iranian King: From Rumors to Facts

A mummified body recently discovered near Shah Abdol Azim Shrine, southern Tehran, could possibly belong to Reza Shah Pahlavi, father of the last shah of Iran. Despite flows of contradictory news and rumors, no official source has yet confirmed identity of the corpse, which was found on April 23, ISNA reported on Wednesday. 4/27/18

Shrouded In Mystery: Mummified Body Could Be That Of Iran's Reza Shah

Has a symbol of Iran's pre-revolutionary past come back to haunt it? Speculation that a body found near a former mausoleum south of the Iranian capital might be that of Reza Shah, the founder of the Pahlavi Dynasty who once strived to modernize the former Persia, has stoked Iranian interest in their country's pre-revolutionary and pre-Islamic past. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 4/25/18

Sacred fire alive for 1,550 years at Iranian Zoroastrian temple

Iran's central city of Yazd is home to one of the fire temples most sacred to Zoroastrians worldwide with a flame that has been burning for nearly 1,550 years. The Yazd temple is one of the world's nine Zoroastrian fire temples which hold the sacred Atash Behram, meaning Fire of Victory. 4/4/18

Shi'ite Shrine At Persepolis Sparks Row Over Iran's Heritage

With more than 10,000 religious shrines dotting Iran to mark where descendants of Shi'ite Islam's most revered imams are said to have been buried, many of them go unnoticed. But one of these so-called imamzadeh sanctums recently caught the eye of a passerby who, in a video, questioned its proximity to a globally recognized legacy of Iran's pre-Islamic past, the ruins of Persepolis. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 2/19/18

Royal Portraits From 19th-Century Iran Will Go on View at the Smithsonian's Freer|Sackler in Washington, DC

Kings and noblemen of Iran's Qajar dynasty (1779-1925) commissioned self-portraits to convey their power and splendor. Such imagery proliferated as monumental oil paintings, photographs or as intimately scaled lacquer objects and uniquely combined traditional Persian artistic conventions with European modes of representation. "The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran" offers a rare glimpse into the development and dissemination of royal and aristocratic portraiture in the 19th century and early 20th century in Iran at a time when the country underwent major political, societal and cultural changes. 2/17/18

Foreign experts to help protect Persepolis, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire, against lichens

Separate teams of Italian and Spanish experts will join hands with Iranian counterparts to cope with spreading lichens in Persepolis, a World Heritage site in southern Iran. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330 BC). It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979. 2/16/18

Architecture in medieval Persian painting: Fact or Fantasy?

How did Persian painters tackle both the depiction of architecture and the actual process of construction? Several scholars have studied the first topic, but very few have investigated the second. In neither case is the term "realism" appropriate, but the conventions for depicting architecture in Persian painting are a fascinating study in themselves, while close analysis of three later medieval paintings of workmen on building sites reveals many surprises. The lecture (by Professor Robert Hillenbrand) will show how comfortably Persian painters operated within what to a Western eye might seem like constricting conventions. ​ 2/9/18

A New Film on Ancient Persia: "Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture"

World Premiere of the film "Taq Kasra: Wonder of Architecture" will take place at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London on 1 February 2018. The film - which is the first-ever documentary on this iconic monument - is directed by Pejman Akbarzadeh, based in the Netherlands. 1/25/18

Hurry up! Yalda Night is right around the corner

Children chasing each other; mothers setting out dried nuts, pomegranates and watermelons amongst other fine foodstuffs; and fathers watching a ball game amid all! Does this sound familiar? Well, this is a glimpse of the Yalda celebration in honor of the longest night of the year! 12/20/17

Chovgan added as Iran's intangible cultural heritage to UNESCO lists

The sporting team game of chovgan, which is played on horseback and recognized as a version of the modern polo game, has been added to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. 12/7/17

U.S. High Court Wary Of Seizing Ancient Relics To Pay $71 Million Iran Judgment

U.S. Supreme Court justices have expressed skepticism over a lawsuit that seeks the seizure of ancient Persian museum relics to pay for a $71.5 million U.S. court judgment against Iran for its alleged role in a suicide bombing. The plaintiffs in the case before the Supreme Court want to seize ancient Persian artifacts held at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, which have been on loan from Iran since 1937, as well as relics held by Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. 12/5/17

Iran's tourism chief calls on private sector to assist 'Tabriz 2018'

Iran's tourism chief has called for a partnership between domestic travel companies and associated businesses to help organize 'Tabriz 2018', an event which marks the naming of Tabriz as the capital of Islamic tourism. In December 2015, the inter-governmental Organization of Islamic Cooperation selected Tabriz, northwestern East Azarbaijan province, as the capital of Islamic tourism for 2018. 11/26/17

Fascination with Persepolis: Exhibition in Holland

The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (RMO) in Leiden has organised an exhibition to present the engravings, paintings and photographs by the European travellers and archaeologists who have visited Persepolis since the 14th century AD. The collection provides an interesting insight into the magnetic attraction of the palace. -Pejman Akbarzadeh 11/3/17

Iran Says Foiled 'Illegal Gathering' At Tomb Of Persian King

Iran says it has foiled an online plan to organize an "illegal gathering" at the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the first king of Persia. Iranians gather every year on October 29 at the pre-Islamic king's tomb, located in the ancient city of Pasargadae in the central province of Fars, to celebrate Cyrus Day, an unofficial holiday. 10/30/17

Who's Afraid Of Cyrus The Great?

Iran's authorities appear to be taking measures to prevent citizens from gathering at the tomb of Cyrus the Great, the first king of Persia, in celebration of Cyrus Day. The ancient king's big event is to be held on October 29, which many believe is the day he conquered Babylon. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL 10/28/17

City of Yazd, manifestation of ancient civilization

Yazd is the first adobe city in the world and is the second historical city after Venice, Italy. Yazd in central Iran has been a manifestation of the brightest cultural heritage and ancient civilization throughout history with human settlement in Yazd dating back to the third millennium BCE. 10/18/17

IRAN: The Historical Cradle of Civilization, the Origin of Human Diversity, and the Bastion of Humanistic Tolerance

Ever since as early as a hundred thousand years ago when our Homo sapiens ancestors preceded by Homo helderbergenis along with our cousins the Neanderthals and Denisovans who had crossed the horn of Africa, the southwestern Asian's temperate Iranian plateau sandwiched between the Caspian Sea including the Caucuses, Alborz and the Himalayan Mountain ranges to the north, and the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman/Bushehr shores to the south-has remained the optimal cradle of human civilization. -Davood Rahni 10/16/17

Tombs of Achaemenid Kings and Queens: the Persian funerary cult and its Elamite background

Lecture in London by Dr Wouter Henkelman: The complex relationship between the Elamites and the Persians has long been a subject for discussion. New light on this intriguing question is cast by information contained in cuneiform tablets in the Persepolis Fortification Archive, some of them still unpublished. 10/6/17

Italian scholars publish book on Iranian architecture

Three Italian scholars have published their latest research on Iranian architecture in a book titled "Through Iran: Cities, Architecture, Landscapes" (Attraverso l'Iran. Citta, architetture, paesaggi). Manfredi Edizioni in the Italian city Imola is the publisher of the book, which carries materials that Alessandra De Cesaris, Giorgio Di Giorgio and Laura Valeria Ferretti gathered about Iranian architecture during several trips to the country since 2010. 9/18/17

World Heritage Volunteers help raise awareness of Persian qanats

A cluster of World Heritage Volunteers has spotlighted essentials to conserve and promote Persian qanats, a UNESCO registered heritage that provides exceptional testimony to cultural traditions in desert areas with an arid climate. 9/14/17

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