45,000 Years of History Razed Down at Kaftarkhun
Large sections of the Paleolithic site of Kaftarkhun, located in Iran’s Isfahan province, have been completely annihilated to build a horse racing course while the eastern parts of this ancient site have seen irreplaceable damage due to quarry blasting.
Tehran, 15 February 2007 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- Operations to build a horse racing track in the prehistoric site of Kaftarkhun resulted in complete destruction of large areas of this ancient site, located 4 kilometers west of the Fin Garden, close to the city of Kashan, Isfahan province. On the other hand, the eastern parts of this 45,000 year old Paleolithic site have seen irrecoverable damage due to blasting operations to extract stone from a nearby quarry.
Association of Cultural Heritage Supporters of Kashan has repeatedly voiced its concern over the negative outcomes of the use of explosives to extract stone in the area and the consequent strong vibrations caused by the operations. The Association has warned that continuation of blasting operations in the area could eventually lead into destruction of Soleimaniyeh Spring which has over 7,000 years of antiquity. Furthermore, it is likely that vibrations caused during the process would leave severe negative impacts on the historic Fin Garden that is located 4 kilometers away.
The prehistoric site of Kaftarkhun was first studied by archeologists in 2002 during which a number of stone instruments were found which point to a hunter-gatherer culture that was once predominant in the area.
Despite its historic importance, Kaftarkhun has not been registered as a national heritage by the Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization which is why the permission to start the operation was obtained from the Iranian Ministry of Industries and Mines without consulting with the Iranian cultural heritage authorities.
Dated to the Paleolithic Epoch, the area has been named Kaftarkhun (Kaftar meaning hyena) due to existence of rare species of hyena which live in the nearby mountains.
Islamic Tourism, Best Choice to Expand Touring in Islamic States
Manager of Bozorgan Gasht Tour & Travel Agency believes that cooperation between Islamic countries must be in such a way that benefits all sides.
Tehran, 15 February 2007 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- Making use of new methods for attracting tourists from Islamic countries can assist Iran’s tourism industry, said manager of Bozorgan Gasht Tour & Travel Agency.
Hadi Abbasi called Islamic Tourism the most significant guideline for prospering tourism industry in Iran.
“At the present time, due to lack of standard hotels, high quality restaurants, sanitary services, etc., Islamic Republic of Iran is not standing in a suitable rank for attracting tourists”, Abbasi told CHN in an interview.
He called cooperation and coordination among Islamic countries the best strategy for extending the tourism industry in Islamic States and said that through close cooperation between these countries, a prosperous future could be foreseen for tourism.
Abbasi further added that cooperation between Islamic countries must be in such a way that benefits all sides and said: “For instance, sending Iranian tourists to Saudi Arabia currently has no positive outcome for us because the only thing that we do is spending our money outside Iran without getting any special advantages in return.”
Meanwhile, Abbasi suggested that by introducing Iran’s attractions to Saudi tourists, they could be convinced to travel to Iran and then the scale of cooperation would be balanced.
“In order to bloom Islamic Tourism in Iran, the Iranian government must take charge of laying out the basis and defining some plans but leave execution of those plans to the private sector,” Abbasi concluded.
S. Omid Arab
New Challenges on the Way of Inundation of Sivand Dam
With gathering in front of Iran’s Ministry of Energy and Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, a large number of cultural heritage enthusiasts stressed their objections to the inundation of Sivand Dam.
Tehran, 7 February 2007 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- Today a larger number of cultural heritage enthusiasts gathered in front of Iran’s Ministry of Energy to voice their objections against inundation of Sivand Dam in Fars province with holding placards. With attendance of a representative of the Public Relations Department and some of the authorities of the Ministry who succeeded in calming down the angry crowd with promising them that the flooding of the dam will not be started until getting the formal permission of the President of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), protesters left the area for ICHTO to continue their objections.
Evidence show that the protesters confronted with severe reaction of the guard of the Organization who wanted to confiscated their photographs.
Placards in the crowd read: “Preserving cultural heritage is preserving the cultural values of a country. Protecting cultural heritage is as important as protecting the geographical borders of a country. With inundation of Sivand Dam what will be your answer to next generations? Rescue historical sites in Sivand region. Save Pasargadae. With inundation of Sivand Dam, what will happen for Iran’s cultural heritage and ecosystem? What a high cost for producing energy. What a pity, Iran is getting lost.”
The outcome of the objections was that protesters succeeded in winning the approval of the counselor of the President of ICHTO to hold a session with attendance of authorities of ICHTO, Iran’s Ministry of Energy, and NGOs to discuss the case in detail to reach to a conclusion about inundation of the dam.
Dam construction has become one of the nightmares of Iranian cultural heritage enthusiasts in the recent years. Although economically important, constructions of dams in Iran have threatened the country’s rich cultural heritage. One of the most important examples of such is construction of Sivand Dam in Bolaghi Gorge, Iranian Fars province, which is an important archeological site close to the world heritage site of Pasargadae. This issue raised many concerns and created rumors across the country saying that some anonymous groups have vowed to destroy the dam by explosives.
Iranian and Polish Experts to Study Gohar Tepe Skeletons
Anthropological studies on skeletons discovered in Gohar Tepe have started after a Polish anthropologist recently came to Iran.
Tehran, 13 February 2007 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- By the invitation of the archeology team in the historical site of Gohar Tepe, Iranian northern province of Mazandaran, Polish anthropologist Arcadius Saltisiak from University of Warsaw has come to Iran to start studies on 3000-year-old skeletons unearthed in this historic site.
Announcing this news, Ali Mahforouzi, archeologist and head of excavation team in Gohar Tepe explained that archeologists are determined to identify cultural similarities among different ethnic groups who lived in the Caspian Sea regional states.
He further explained that the result of anthropological studies on these skeletons will be compared to ethnic groups living in the area in the modern time. “It seems that there must have been some similarities between the ethnic groups who lived in the area during the very ancient times and those who are living in the region today, which is why we have decided to conduct such research. Moreover, making use of radiography and some similar tests on the skeletons, archeologists are determined to find out the reason that led into early death of the inhabitants of Gohar Tepe,” said Mahforouzi to CHN.
According to Mahforouzi, concurrent with anthropology studies, restoration experts will restore the skeletons to prepare them for public visit. Based on initial programs, all the information about the discovered skeletons will be documented and the skeletons alongside the moulage of their belongings which have been unearthed will be placed in special coffins for public visit.
Covering an area of 50 hectares, Gohar Tepe historical site is located in eastern parts of Mazandaran province, northern Iran. Historical evidence indicates that Gohar Tepe enjoyed an urban life some 5000 years ago. Four seasons of archeological excavations in the area have revealed a number of interesting burials dating back to some 3000 years ago. Stunning achievements in this historic site by archeologists have attracted the attention of cultural heritage experts all over the world.
Report of Jahan Nama Tower on the Way to UNESCO UNESCO Agent Will Travel to Iran
In spite of sending the report on demolition procedures of Jahan Nama Tower to UNESCO the organization is dispatching an agent to Tehran next week to personally witness the progress.
CHTN-Shahriyar Adl, Iranian representative in UNESCO Cultural Heritage Committee, visited the site last week and announced pleasure with the lowering.
“ Iran has already submitted a pictorials report to UNESCO,” director of Isfahan province Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Saeed Baktash said.
The UNESCO representative will travel to Isfahan next week but the exact date of arrival has not been announced, he said.
The results of the UNESCO investigation about whether to put the site in endangered list or not will become clear by next month.
Isfahan Portal Links with UNESCO
Isfahan Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization’s portal will be linked to the information dissemination center of UNESCO.
CHTN- “Isfahan portal is to be launched soon and based on negotiations with UNESCO, the portal will be linked to UNESCO’s information dissemination center,” head of Isfahan Cultural Heritage Department, Saeed Baktash said.
The step has been taken with an aim to introduce Isfahan ’s natural, cultural and historical attractions on the internet, he added.
Introducing Iran Tourism Attractions in Fitur Exhibition
Spain international tourism exhibition known as Fitur has been inaugurated in the presence of 170 countries from all over the world.
CHTN -The exhibition was opened in the presence of Juan Carlos King of Spain , secretary general of World Tourism Organization, officials and ambassadors of participant countries as well as Iranian Ambassador to Madrid Seyed Davoud Salehi.
" Iran occupies an area of 280 square meters at the exhibition decorated with Iranian traditional design. More than 20 travel agencies are also participating," advisor to Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and chairman of exhibition & publicity committee Hossein Hatefi Farmad said.
Some travel agencies as well as some handicrafts artisans are attending the exhibition, he added.
During the exhibition, multimedia brochures, books and posters will be distributed among visitors, he added.
The first three days of the exhibition are devoted to experts and journalists and the other days will be open to the public, he said.
The majority of the participants are from European countries which occupy more than 89 thousand square meters of the total area.
Restaurants and governmental organizations are the majority of participant from Spain , he said.
Handicrafts Need More Attention
A Handicrafts Marketing Forum will be held coinciding with a Traditional Arts Exhibition in the Field of Religion in Gilan.
CHTN-"The one-day seminar will be held in line with the policies of Gilan Handicrafts Department," deputy chairman of Gilan Handicrafts and Traditional Arts Department, Khosrow Rafieeyan, said.
Handicrafts have a very important role in economy and marketing should be improved in the field of handicrafts, he added.
Many artisans will participate in the forum in different fields.
Iran to Become a Clinic for Arab Countries
A plan to dispatch health tourists from three Arab countries to Iran has been drawn up and Bahraini health tourists will enter Iran in a near future.
CHTN- The plan to dispatch Bahraini patients to Iran for medical treatment is aimed at booming health tourism in Iran .
Three plans related to health tourism and dispatch patients from three Arab countries to Iran has been studied and ready to launch in one of the three countries, treasurer of Chamber of Commerce and a member of tourism commission of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Shahrokh Zahiri said.
The plan covers Qatar , Oman and Bahrain and it has been agreed to receive patients from Bahrain at the first stage, he said.
Pars Hospital will be in charge of medical treatment for the patients, he added.
The expense of treatment in Qatar is high compared to Iran and this is a driving force to encourage Qatari patient to travel to Iran , he said.
The cost of treatment in Iran is %0.1 (in US dollar parity) compared to other countries and this factor along with the presence of professional doctors in Iran will promote health tourism in the country, he said.
It has been decided that those patients needing heart and bone surgeries be dispatched to Tehran , he added.
Alamut: a History of Braves
Alamut was once a mountain fortress by the Elburz mountains, south of the Caspian Sea, close to Gazor Khan, near Qazvin, about 100 km from present-day Tehran in Iran. Only ruins remain of this fortress today.
The most magnificence castle in the Allamut valley is Hassan Sabah Castle, whose fame has surpassed the Iranian border.
The name of Alamut composes of two words of “Ala” which is species of falcon in local dialect and “Amout” which in Deilami dialect means learning.
The fortress was built in 840 at an elevation of 2,100 m. It was built in a way that had only one passable artificial entrance that wound its way around the cliff faces; thus making conquering the fortress extremely difficult.
Azadeh Ardakani- The fort has an unusual system of water supply. The top was extremely narrow and long perhaps 400 meters long and no more than 30 meters wide in any place, and usually less.
The fortress was destroyed on December 15, 1256 by Hulagu Khan as part of the Mongol offensive on Islamic southwest Asia. The fortress itself was impregnable, but Ruknuddin Khor-shah surrendered it without a real fight, in the vain hope that Hulagu would be merciful.
In 2004, an earthquake further damaged the already crumbling walls of the fort.
Roles of Bazaar in Iranian Civilization
Iranian bazaars, with a history of thousands of years, have long been considered the major economic social, and communication hubs in Iran, the word bazaar refers to a roofed place with two opposite rows of shops; due to trades between Iranian and Portuguese language , the term first entered the Portuguese language and then the french.
In the old times when communication was not as widespread as today, people from differents levels of life used to meet each other in these bazaars. That is why in most cities of Iran, bazaars were built near the grand mosque so that one supported the other. Adjacent to these bazaars ,public places such as Hosseiniyeh, coffee house, Zoorkhaneh, public bathhouse and tea house were also built.
Political, social and trading center, such as government headquarters and publicsquares ,were erected in the vicinity of these bazaars as well.on the other hand , bazaars also used to be one of the religious centers of the city, closely related to the political activities.
With the advent of Islam bazaars maintained strong links to the mosques and that is why they played a significant role during the social political movements, such as "Tobacco"and constitutional movements and the Islamic Revolution.
The old bazaars of Iran are also worth noticing due to the classical architecture characterized by arches, early forms of ventilators in the corridors, and the labyrinth bazaars while each section was dedicated to a certain guild.
The shape of the bazaars meant that they were warm in winter and cool in summer The most important bazaars of Yazd is Khan bazaar. Its construction dates backs (to Naser – al –din shahs time ) qajar period Its dissimilar structure &distinct width indicate that it had been constructed gradually with length of 2.5m&height of 6m.The north –south side and 100 shops in east-west side.also the antiquity of Zargari bazaars to 18th to 19th century. The bazaar is 94m, long, 3 and wide and 3m high .There are 53 shops in this bazaar, too
Iran, Uzbekistan Promote Cultural, Scientific Ties
Ways of developing cultural and scientific cooperation between Iran and Uzbekistan was discussed in a meeting between Uzbek ambassador and director of the Center for Promotion of Persian Literature.
CHTN- During the meeting Dr.Abasali Vafae, director of the Center for Promotion of Persian Literature introduced his organization, including its internal and international activities to the ambassador.
He said Iran and Uzbekistan enjoy many commonalities in civilization, cultural and scientific fields, and expressed Iran 's readiness to cooperate with Uzbekistan .
The two sides also agreed to hold a conference to commemorate Amir Ali Shir Navae, renowned Uzbek intellectual, author, and poet in Tehran .
Uzbek ambassador to Tehran , Ilham Akramov welcomed the idea and declared his embassy’s readiness to cooperate with Iran .
"I hope holding such a conference will make Iranians get more familiar with Uzbek culture,'' she said.
Icy Perspolis in Japan
“Glory of Persia” exhibition will start in Japanese city coinciding with Ice Festival.
CHTN -- The curator of Iran National Museum Mohammad Reza Kargar announced that the exhibition was already held in five cities in Japan, including Tokyo and Nagoya, and it has now arrived in Sapporo City.
Over 20 million local and foreign tourists visit Ice Festival every year and more are expected to inspect the event, he added.
He also mentioned that some artisans have made icy statues of Perspolis in the Ice Festival which will attract more tourists to visit the exhibition.
“After Japan , South Korea will host the exhibition,” he said.
Revealing the Secrets of Underground City
Archeologists have successfully discovered several types of potteries in the second season of excavations in historical city of Noosh Abad .
CHTN -- Some stone tools belonging to the Sassanid, Safavid and Ilkhani eras have also been discovered during the excavations.
“Meandering canals, chambers, staircases, wells and passages of Ghanat have been discovered,” director of excavation team in Noosh Abad underground city, Zahra Sarokhani said.
"We recognized that many different floors have been joined by vertical and horizontal canals in the city and there are also big stones like mill stone beside the canals,” she added.
Turns and twists in corridors and stairs seem as a dead-end in darkness which is a unique design, she said.
Noosh Abad is located eight km north of Kashan and is a sample of underground city in the world which not only contains historical site of Noosh Abad but also great areas stretching outside the current site.
During the two seasons of excavations, about 500 square km of spaces has been excavated, she added.
Chambers have been designed in a way that even at the depth of 20 meters no breathing problem occurs because air is generated by canals facing the wall on the first floor, she added.
Underground city was used as a shelter and built outside cities or between hills and under historical city at the depth of 50 meters.