Kermanshah to Tehran - Ancient Culture

Elephants in boar hunt Elephants carved into the wall of the iwan at Taq-i-Bostan, so alive that they feel they will gallop out of it. It dates from 7th Century AD, during the reign of Khursraw II Coming overland into north-west Iran brings the visitor to the city of Tabriz. From there the journey south is by bus to Kernamshah, near by is the complex of rock carvings called Taq-i-Bostan dating from the Sassanid Empire (AD 224-651). Although badly disfigured in places, the dynamism and life of the work is still palpable. Kermanshah cityscape. Like so many Iranian cities Kermanshah sits on a plane beside a mountain range. The hills provides a source of fresh water that is piped out to the otherwise totally dry city. These Qanats, underground water systems, are still in use and may be as much as 2,700 years old The Taq-i-Bostan monument. The iwans (three-sided rooms) and carvings at Taq-i-Bostan, near Kermanshah Khosrow II being crowned. Khosraw II in armour on horseback. The rear wall of the large iwan at Taq-i-Bustan shows Khusraw II being crowned by Ahura Mazda (the Zoroastrian god) with the female water god, Anahit, looking on. Below them, Khusraw is seen in full fighting apparel on horseback (Sixth Century AD) Qajar carving. The 19th Century Qajar King Fath Ali Shah holding court; a much inferior work imposed above the 7th Century carvings. The Qajar dynasty ruled Iran from 1785 to 1925 Some of the carvings are on the rock face and some in iwans. Iwans are Iranian three sided rooms with one side open to the air, they usually form the main reception room of larger buildings, although in this case they are carved out of the rock. Boar hunt The two side walls of the large iwan have hunting scenes, the image above shows a boar hunt and that to the right a stag hunt Stag hunt. The sense of energy and movement is extraordinary, and rightly puts these bas-reliefs among the greatest in the world at that time Woman with vessel on her head. Local women by the monument Commemorating Ardashir I's victory. This is the oldest group of carvings at Taq-i-Bostan, probably commemorating the victory of Ardashir I who founded the Sasanian Empire (224 to 651) and his son Shapur I in the year 226. They are seen here stamping on their enemy Artabanus IV (the last of the Parthian Kings; the Parthian Empire lasted from 247 BC to AD 224) Tehran's situation beside the mountains, at three to six thousand feet, gives it a reasonable climate with cold dry winters and hot, but not humid, summers.
While Kermanshah's art is in situ as executed, the great collections of works in Tehran are housed in the National (previously Archaeological) Museum of Tehran. But the city also has many recently built and exciting modern structures.
Tehran City Theatre. Early on in this wave of modern architecture came the Tehran City Theatre, it was designed by Ali Sardar Afkhami in the 60s and opened in 1972 Tehran skyline. Tehran is no exception to the rule that Iranian cities are built near mountain ranges, here the snow covered hills (13,000 feet) peep over the rooftops of the town mount Damavand. Mount Damavand is 18,410 feet high (5,610 m) and is the highest peak in the middle east and the highest volcano in Asia, it is just 40 miles north of Tehran Between Tehran and the Caspian Sea lie the Alborz Mountains that rise to the summit of Mount Damavand at over 18,000 feet, the road through the hills to the Caspian passes above 10,000 feet - and it feels like it. This proximity of Tehran to the sea and mountains, means that many pastimes are available to the middle classes that are denied to those living in other cities which, like this, are the size of London. Tourists on Caspian shore. Tourists enjoying the Caspian Sea shore only 100 km from Tehran Village and mountains by Caspian. Here the Alborz Mountain range runs down to the Caspian Sea 12th Century astrolobe. An astrolabe, probably of the 12th century Golden bull. This golden bull with its head turned and a rope halter is probably Achaemenid - some 2,500 years old Sitting clay bull. Another bull in clay and extensively restored, sitting with vessel, it seems older, but needs identification The collection of treasures in the National Museum of Iran (formed from the Archaeological and Islamic Museums) puts it amongst the top museums of the world. These artefacts date from 30,000 years ago; with cultural items from 9,000 years ago to modern times. Old Persian cuneiform script. Old Persian Cuneiform texts like this come from the time of Darius I and Xerxes I in the years before and after 500 BC. It is virtually an alphabetical script, many symbols representing sounds independently of their meaning Translation of cuneiform script. Examples of words in Old Persian Cuneiform Golden goblet with three lions. This gold goblet is decorated with three lions in single file, the heads have been moulded separately and riveted onto the body of the cup. It was found in the Province of Gilan near the Caspian Sea in the Necropolis of Kalar Dasht.
It is thought to be about 3,000 years old
The next page goes to the heart of Iran, to Isfahan. A city which for hundreds of years has been acknowledged as the architectural gem that it is. The Forty Pillar Palace in Isfahan. line
Saturday 11th June 2016 Murphy

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