Prehistorical relics meticulously restored in the hands of experts 

January 2, 2022 - 22:0

TEHRAN – Cultural heritage experts in Zanjan province have restored a selection of 25 prehistorical relics to their closest possible original states during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-December 21, 2021), the deputy provincial tourism chief has announced. 

Twenty-four of these objects, which were discovered during excavations in Tarom, date back to the Iron Age, and the other one, discovered in Khorramdareh date from an undefined prehistoric time, Mohammadreza Mohammadpur said on Sunday. 

Documentation, cleaning, and stabilizing processes took place during the restoration projects, which was carried out with meticulous attention to their material and antiquity, the official added. 

A major goal of these restoration projects was to protect and preserve them for future generations, he noted. 

Iron Age is the final technological and cultural stage in the Stone–Bronze–Iron Age sequence. The date of the full Iron Age, in which this metal, for the most part, replaced bronze in implements and weapons, varied geographically, beginning in the Middle East and southeastern Europe about 1200 BC but in China not until about 600 BC, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

In Iran, the term Iron Age is employed to identify a cultural change that occurred centuries earlier than the time accorded its use elsewhere in the Near East, and not to acknowledge the introduction of new metal technology

As mentioned by Encyclopedia Iranica, Iron artifacts were unknown in Iran until the 9th century BC (the cultural period labeled Iron Age II), centuries after the phase designated as Iron Age I came into existence.

Iranian sites with levels identified as dating to the Iron Age were first excavated in western Iran at Sialk, and later in northwestern Iran around the west, east, and south shores of Lake Urmia, close to the Zagros mountains bordering Mesopotamia and Anatolia. These sites remain to date the best-documented full-range Iron Age sites in western Iran.

Written sources are rare at Iranian Iron Age sites, and locally written texts are non-existent. Indirect historical reference to the region begins in the 9th century BC when Assyrian royal texts first refer to various polities in northwestern and western Iran; these references continued into the 7th century. However, relating the Assyrian-named polities with on-the-ground sites is difficult; in fact, not one excavated Iranian Iron Age site has been conclusively identified by its ancient name—although suggested identifications have been brought forth.

Zanjan is one of the cities founded by Sassanid King Ardashir I (180-242 CE). The province makes a base for wider explorations with the architectural wonder of Soltaniyeh, the subterranean delights of the Katale-Khor caves, colorful mountains, and the UNESCO-registered Takht-e Soleiman ruins are nearby.

ABU/AFM

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