UNESCO experts in Iran weighing historical Sasanian ensemble

September 28, 2017

TEHRAN – Experts from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) accompanied by archaeologists from Germany and Italy visited parts of the historical Sasanian ancient cities and ruins on Wednesday as part of the process for inscribing the ensemble on UNESCO World Heritage List, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

Following nearly a decade of expectation, Iran is further moving towards possible inscription of ‘The Ensemble of Historical Sasanian Cities’ and ‘Arasbaran Protected Area’ that comprises several Sasanian-era (224–651) sites, namely Bishapour, Firouzabad and Sarvestan in the southern province of Fars.

According to its dossier, ‘The Ensemble of Historical Sasanian Cities’ embodies the political, historical, cultural and artistic developments of the Sasanian Empire, which was recognized as one of the leading world powers alongside its neighboring arch-rival the Roman-Byzantine Empire.

The site along with the Arasbaran Protected Area is candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage list for 2018.

Currently, Iran hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments, 22 of which have been inscribed on the prestigious World Heritage list.

According to Britannica, under the leadership of Ardashir I (reigned 224–241), the Sasanians overthrew the Parthians and created an empire that was constantly changing in size as it reacted to Rome and Byzantium to the west and to the Kushans and Hephthalites to the east.

Under the Sasanians, Iranian art experienced a general renaissance. Architecture often took grandiose proportions, such as the palaces at Ctesiphon, Firuzabad and Saravan.

Perhaps the most characteristic and striking relics of Sasanian art are rock sculptures carved on abrupt limestone cliffs, for example at Shapur (Bishapour), Naqsh-e Rostam, and Naqsh-e Rajab. Metalwork and gem engraving became highly sophisticated.

PHOTO: Picture depicts vestiges of a Sasanian-era monument in Bishapour, Fars province, southern Iran.

AFM/MG

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