Vandalized prehistorical bas-relief restored in western Iran

December 1, 2019

TEHRAN – A 3rd-millennium-BC bas-relief, vandalized on a rock surface in western Iran earlier in September, has been restored without damaging its other undestroyed sections.

The relief is carved on the face of a rock cliff in Salas-e Babajani county, Kermanshah province.

“Parts of the bas-relief, which were hurt by vandalizers, were rehabilitated by a team of restorers affiliated with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts and in collaboration with Kermanshah cultural heritage department, provincial tourism chief Omid Qaderi said on Sunday, IRNA reported. 

The department handed over restorers fragments of the [partly] smashed bas-relief, which depicts Iddin-Sin who was a monarch of the Kingdom of Simurrum [circa 2000-1900 BC], Qaderi added.

The magnificent bas-relief is one of the most important archaeological findings [in the region] that can reveal some information about Zagros-inhabited tribes in the third millennium BC, the official noted.

“By merging epoxy resins with mineral supplements, we came close to the color of the relief but attempted to make a slight difference to the original color so that forthcoming generations would not have trouble for research.”

For areas with deep fracture points, stainless steel wires were used and molded with specific epoxy-filled solution, he said.

After a few days, the restored relief will be inspected by the restoration team if it is ready to be covered by a nano-silica coating, he explained.

The relief is one of a group of similar rocks carved on the high cliffs of the eastern border of Mesopotamia. This area was marked by numerous battles between the Mesopotamian cities, outstanding among them is Ur, and their opponents, during the last two hundred years of the third millennium. Despite the long and well-documented rivalry between Ur and Simurrum, these rock relief carvings exhibit features typical of the Mesopotamian tradition, namely, the depiction of an apparently young king trampling his enemy in front of a goddess and carrying a scepter surmounted by two volutes.

The Simurrum Kingdom was an important city state of the Mesopotamian area from around 2000 BC to 1500 BC, during the period of the Akkadian Empire down to Ur III. The Simurrun were regularly in conflict with the Akkadian Empire.

AFM/MG

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