Iran seeks UNESCO recognition for millennia-old petroglyphs

January 9, 2021 - 18:38

TEHRAN- Iran will put forward clusters of its millennia-old petroglyphs as a candidate for inclusion in UNESCO’S World Heritage list.

A dossier is to be developed for Teymareh petroglyphs, which are scattered in Khomein county of Markazi province, to be presented to UNESCO, Khomein’s tourism chief, Ali Mashhadi, announced on Thursday.

Similar petroglyphs, which have been discovered in the provinces of Isfahan and Lorestan, can be included in the dossier for a collective registration, the official noted.

Teymareh is home to numerous petroglyphs estimated to be carved in a period spanning from 40,000 to 4,000 years ago, providing insights into past eras and cultures both by tools utilized for carving and themes being carved.

Last year, a prehistorical petroglyph, which bears Pahlavi script written by ordinary people of the time, was found during an archaeological survey in the Teymareh region of central Iran.

“This is the sixth petroglyph, engraved with Pahlavi script, which has so far been found in the highlands of Teymareh. And the petroglyph is estimated to date back to 2,200 years ago,” according to Iranian archaeologist Mohammad Nasserifard.

Nasserifard had earlier proposed a bold hypothesis on a variety of petroglyphs that are scarred in the region, saying “some prehistorical residents of the Iranian plateau migrated to the Americas.” His assumption is based on evidence from similarities between the petroglyphs and cave painting symbols in central Iran and the ones found in the Americas.

“After years of exploring ancient paintings inside Iran’s caves and mountains and other parts of the globe, amazing achievements have been made in this regard,” Nasserifard said.

“The ancient paintings of cave walls and mountains in Iran have been compared with ones in other parts of the world, their similarities in appearance and motifs have been ‘amazing’, according to quotes by professors Jan Brouwer and Gus van Veen,” Nasserifard explained, adding “His research and findings are presented to enthusiasts and researchers for the first time.”

“Appearance similarities, artistic styles, and uniform themes of ancient petroglyphs and cave paintings of this land (Iran) reveal many missing links in human history and arts one of which is the resemblance of ancient artifacts in Iran with ones found in the American continent.”

In March 2020, a team of entomologists and archaeologists concluded that a previously-founded petroglyph showcases a six-limbed creature with the head and arms of a praying mantis. The rare 14-centimeter rock carving was first spotted in the Teymareh rock art site during surveys between 2017 and 2018, but could not be identified due to its unusual shape.

International experts Jan Brouwer and Gus van Veen have examined the Teymareh site estimating its carvings were made 40,000-4,000 years ago. Prehistoric rock art provides insights into past eras and cultures as archaeologists classify the tools for the carvings by specific eras Incising tools include flint, metal, or thigh bones of hunted prey.


Leave a Comment

8 + 3 =