National Museum of Iran launches guided virtual tours on early human relics, history

November 14, 2020 - 18:36

TEHRAN – With regard to restrictions on museums due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Museum of Iran has launched guided virtual tours on early human relics and history.

The tours highlight objects in the permanent galleries of the museum, a curator of the museum told the Tehran Times on Saturday.

The first guided virtual tour was presented by Fereidoun Biglari, head of the Paleolithic department of the museum, on the earliest evidence of human settlement in Iran. The first part of the tour was broadcast at 11.00 am, Tuesday, November 10, live on Instagram.

Biglari, on the tour, emphasized the importance of this long period of prehistory in Iran which compared to later historic periods is poorly known. He then talked about stone tools that are the most abundant archaeological remains in Paleolithic sites.

Using experimentally made artifacts, he briefly described different methods of stone tool production and how archaeologists distinguish a human-made stone tool from a naturally broken rock fragment. A core-tool discovered at a site called Kashafrud near Mashhad presented as an example of the earliest stone tools that are on display at the Paleolithic gallery.

A lower jaw fossil of a cave bear discovered in association with stone tools in the Darband Rashi cave in Gilan was described. Darband Cave is the earliest radio-metrically dated human occupation site in Iran.

The expert then spoke about Neanderthals and their archaeological and physical remains in Iran. A Neanderthal molar tooth on display that was discovered in the Wezmeh cave was introduced and discussed. He finally introduced some of the recent Museum publications that give further information about Iranian Prehistory and the Paleolithic gallery of the museum.

The National Museum of Iran has the richest Paleolithic collections on display among Iranian museums. The exhibit includes stone tools, animal fossils, a Neanderthal tooth, and shell and tooth ornaments. The Paleolithic Department of the museum was involved in establishing a specialized museum for the Paleolithic period in the Kermanshah Province in the west of Iran in 2008.

The tour video can be accessed via the Instagram account of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.


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