Authorities to restore, reorganize Seymareh open-air museum 

May 14, 2021 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Tourism directorate of the western Ilam province is slated to restore and reorganize the open-air museum site of Seymareh, which dates from the Sassanid-era (224 CE–651). 

A budget of 800 million rials (about $19,000 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been allocated to the project, provincial tourism chief Abdolmalek Shanbehzadeh said on Thursday. 

The project involves improving the tourist routes of the ancient city, using local and traditional materials, the official added. 

The ancient city of Seymareh has become the province’s first outdoor museum, as it is one of the province’s most important historical sites with several historical monuments inside, he explained. 

Earlier this month, the official announced that architectural sites and agricultural lands inside the ancient city, which were damaged by seasonal rains, were repaired and restored.

A budget of two billion rials (about $48,000) was allocated to the project, the official added. 

Seymareh ancient city, with an area of 200 hectares, is located near Darreh Shahr city. It dates back to the Sassanid-era and is believed to be built on remnants of the Elamite capital, Madaktu.

The first archeologist to visit Seymareh was Sir Henry Rawlinson. He began an expedition to the site in 1836. He was looking for the remaining of Seymareh and considered it to have belonged to the Sassanid dynasty. Jaques de Morgan also visited this historical land in 1891 and introduced it as the same ancient city of Madakto. Then it was Aurel Stein who attempted to explore it in 1936, according to Visit Iran, the official travel guide of Iran.

The archeological findings show that the city included about 5,000 houses with some modern aspects like a water distribution system through clay pipes and underground sewers. The city was destroyed and deserted after a huge earthquake around 950 BC.

The remnants of the city were inscribed on the National Heritage list in 1931.

Darreh Shahr was once the summer capital of Elamites, a pre-Iranian civilization dated from 2700 to 539 BC. The city also enjoyed centuries of prosperity during the Sassanid era.

Darreh Shahr and its surrounding regions boast vestiges of Sassanid constructions such as arches, ceilings, alleys, and passages that follow a specific order of urban development criteria of the time.

Home to almost half of Iran’s UNESCO sites, western Iran is a land of hospitable people, wild extremes, and wilder history, and it may be an independent traveler's adventure playground. The region also witnessed the rise and fall of many great empires once bordering Mesopotamia, Ottoman Turkey, and Czarist Russia.

From the fecund Caspian coast to the stark, mountainous northern borders, and the crumbling desert ruins of the southern plains, the region hosts everything from paddy fields to blizzards to Persian gardens.

ABU/AFM

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