Iran eyes UNESCO status for Siraf, other ancient ports: tourism minister

February 3, 2021 - 21:21

TEHRAN – Iran seeks to register ancient Siraf port and several other southern seaports on the UNESCO World Heritage list in near future, Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan has said.

“We are developing a dossier [to be submitted to UNESCO] for the global registration of Siraf and several other important ports, [which are dotted across Bushehr province] in the southern coastal strip of the country,” Mounesan said on Tuesday.

“The noble people of Bushehr should be waiting for the registration news,” Mounesan noted.

He made the remarks during his visit to Bushehr, which is one of the most significant historical regions along the Persian Gulf, embracing significant monuments from the Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid eras.

The historical port of Siraf was the most important Iranian port from the Sassanid period to the 4th century AH. It bears plentiful evidence of Persian mastership and genius in seafaring, international relations, and interaction with other near and far cultures and civilizations.

Between 1966 and 1973, the British Institute of Persian Studies conducted seven seasons of excavation and survey at Siraf, which was a major city on the Iranian shore of the Persian Gulf that played a leading role in the network of maritime trade that supplied Western Asia with the products of India, the Far East, and Eastern Africa between 800 CE and 1050.

Siraf had a population of about 300,000 during the early Islamic era and this fact shows that it was a large city. However, today, just about 7,000 people live in Siraf in a small area.

The historical and architectural monuments of Bushehr include Islamic buildings like mosques and praying centers, mansions, old towers, castles, as well as gardens.

Bushehr province is also home to various archaeological mounds including Tall-e Khandaq with Sassanid architectural style, Tall-e Marv located near an Achaemenid Palace, and Qajar era Malek al-Tojar Mansion.

Traveling to the Persian Gulf region would be an experience that you probably haven’t even considered. While you’ve been planning your Iranian sojourn around the jewels of the country’s rich history (Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd), to the southeast the Persian Gulf is equally deserving.

Explore the magnetic islands of Kish, Qeshm, and Hormuz, which are absurdly easy to combine and are altogether different. While Kish is unashamedly glam and glitzy, Qeshm and Hormoz are refreshingly void of large-scale development and offer a chance to glimpse a more traditional way of life – not to mention an array of geological wonders.

Along the coast, soak up the vibes of lively Bandar Abbas and make a beeline for the delightful town of Kong, whose historical center is peppered with charming old houses and monuments.

AFM/

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