Budget allocated to set up Jiroft museum

January 3, 2023 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Kerman tourism directorate has allocated some 1.3 trillion rials ($3.2 million) for the completion of the first phase of the Jiroft Regional Museum, the provincial tourism chief has said.

As part of the 12-acre Jiroft Regional Museum, 4,000 square meters of galleries and treasure troves will comprise the first phase, Fereydoun Fa’ali explained on Tuesday.

Jiroft, a fertile plain situated in Kerman province, is a splendid cradle of civilization, which dates from the Early Bronze Age (late 3rd millennium BC). Geological factors have led to it being overlooked for years by tourists and archeologists, who have generally been more interested in Mesopotamia some 1,000 km away.

Jiroft is surrounded by mountains on three sides, rising some 4,000 meters high. Many Iranian and foreign experts see the findings in Jiroft as signs of civilization, as great as Sumer and ancient Mesopotamia.

In the very early 21st century, rounds of heavy floods along the Halil River swept the topsoil off thousands of previously unknown tombs and led to the discovery of many artifacts believed by archeologists to belong to the Early Bronze Age (late 3rd millennium BC).

Astonishingly, the chlorite vases found in Jiroft were not an unfamiliar object for the archeologists. Chlorite vessels similar to the stunning examples unearthed at Jiroft had been found from the Euphrates to the Indus, as far north as the Amu Darya and as far south as Tarut Island, on the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia.

The primary Jiroft site consists of two mounds a couple of kilometers apart, called Konar Sandal A and B and measuring 13 and 21 meters high, respectively. It was at Konar Sandal B that the archeologists dug out the seal impressions bearing writing.

So far, the archeologists have excavated around nine vertical meters of Konar Sandal B, discovering vestiges of a monumental, two-story, windowed citadel whose base covers nearly 13.5 hectares (33 acres). This imposing edifice once housed the city’s chief administrative center and perhaps a temple and a royal palace.

Finding the structure’s façade was difficult enough, but locating an entrance took the team weeks of digging through clay packed hard by millennia of rain-wash.

In 2019, a team of Iranian and German archaeologists discovered remnants of a prehistorical settlement during a survey on an ancient hill in Jiroft. Senior Iranian archaeologist Nader Alidad-Soleymani and German Professor Peter Pfalzner co-led a comprehensive survey, which aimed to record evidence about previously excavated sites in the counties of Jiroft, Kahnouj, Anbarabad, Faryab, Rudbar, Qalehganj, and Manujan.

The big and sprawling province is something of a cultural melting pot, blending various regional cultures over time. It is also home to rich tourist spots and historical sites, including bazaars, mosques, caravanserais and ruins of ancient urban areas. Kerman is bounded by the provinces of Fars in the west, Yazd in the north, South Khorasan in the northeast, Sistan-Baluchestan in the east, and Hormozgan in the south. It includes the southern part of the central Iranian desert, the Dasht-e Lut.

Kerman (the capital city) was probably initiated by the Sassanid king Ardashir I (reigned 224–241 CE). Under the Safavids, who took control in 1501, it came to be known as Kerman and was made the capital of the province. The city was sacked by the Uzbeks in 1509 but was quickly rebuilt. Declining Safavid power in the 17th and early 18th centuries allowed Kerman to be attacked and occupied by Afghan tribesmen in 1720.


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