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Chega Sofla and several other works from Iran add to the UNESCO Provisional List

The UNESCO World Heritage Site has added new lists of ancient Iranian sites to its provisional list, including the Chega Sofla Archaeological Site, the cultural landscape of the historic port of Kang, historic architecture on the northern shores of the Persian Gulf, and several other historical monuments.

Iran has recently submitted new files to UNESCO for inclusion in the provisional World Heritage List, including cases such as Chega Sofla. According to the ILNA correspondent, the UNESCO World Heritage Site has included new lists of ancient sites in Iran in its provisional list. The name of the Chega Soflaold site can be seen.

Looking into the UNESCO site, we can see that on 08/24/2021, areas such as the cultural landscape of the historic port of Kang, historical architecture on the northern shores of the Persian Gulf (Siraf, Kang, Laft, Kish and Makran), the complex and tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Jam Khangah (Mazar-e-Jam) and of course Chega Sofla have been included in the provisional World Heritage List to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as soon as their case is completed and the conditions are met.

The prehistoric site of Chega Sofla is located south of Behbahan, a short distance from the northern shores of the Persian Gulf. In the 1970s, an archaeological survey by Hans Nissen of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the University of Chicago and Freie University in Berlin identified the site as the most extensive prehistoric site on Zohreh plain.

As a result of the 2015 to 2020 excavations carried out under the supervision of Abbas Moghadam in the framework of the prehistoric Zohreh project, the traditions of the 6000-yerars-old burial with the extraordinary architecture of the tomb was identified. In this area, the architecture of prehistoric tombs has reached its peak of glory in terms of construction technique, shape, and function, to the point that the oldest brick tombs have been discovered in Chega Sofla Cemetery. The art of Chega Sofla is so intertwined with the prevailing customs and traditions that carvings on pottery, carvings on ritual stone carvings, etc., show a civilization of thousands of years and is the most apparent evidence of the history of human society in the Persian Gulf region. Archaeological research has shown that the cemetery was separated from the residential area for the first time in human cultural history six thousand years ago.

Architecture and urban planning of Iran’s historic ports in the Persian Gulf

The file of registration of architecture and urban planning of historic Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf such as Siraf, Kang, Laft, Kish, and Makran is also in the framework of a serial file consisting of the historical context of the ports, coastal areas, the tangible and intangible heritage that are directly related to each other and show the connection between the cities, the sea and the people. These historical ports narrate a part of the marine heritage of the people of the Persian Gulf, the memory of which is still alive in the ordinary and collective memory of its inhabitants. Their history dates back to the Parthian and Sassanid periods, during which trade and sea voyages began. The continuity of settlements from the Sassanid period and after Islam has shaped the architecture and urban planning of the Persian Gulf coasts with its great traditions and way of life among the historical ports of Iran in this region.

Kang Cultural Landscape

The Kang Cultural Landscape case is another recent case on Iran’s provisional World Heritage List. This case is an inseparable combination of a port city with impressive architecture, an intelligent system of water collection, an irrigation system, and its rich and unique intangible heritage, surrounded by beautiful natural and artificial landscapes. Kang is one of the best marine transactions, architecture, and culture and land usage. The historic port of Kang is the most important place for building ships, cargo ships and sail boats, with the unique geostrategic position of the port, and thanks to its natural advantages, this port has long been a center of trade. Kang is the most important place to find the best sailors, and it is still the best place to keep and order traditional ships called “Lenj.” Throughout history, Kang has been able to preserve its traditional and historical context. Architectural and conventional elements of Iran, such as windbreaks, narrow alleys, valuable aquatic technologies, and its transformation into a place for cultural and commercial exchanges, have linked historical periods in this region with the city’s development.

Long-living trees in Iran

Long-living trees are another case on the waiting list for registration in Iran. These trees are known as genetic, botanical, cultural, and even historical reservoirs globally, and there are countless efforts to preserve and protect them. The quality, number, and variety of long-lived trees in Iran are impressive and unique. More than 2,000 long-lived trees were identified and their information recorded in Iran.

Sarv Abarkouh can be mentioned as the most significant example in this case. With a height of 25 meters and a circumference of 11.5 meters, this tree is more than four thousand years old and is arguably one of the oldest living creatures in the world in Asia.

Tomb of Sheikh Ahmad Jam Khangah (Mazar-e Jam)

The tomb complex of Sheikh Ahmad Jam is the result of changes in different historical periods and includes various works from the Seljuk, Timurid, Safavid, and Qajar periods. In this tomb, architectural elements have been formed around a large central courtyard. This structure has remained as one of the masterpieces of decorative art in Islamic architecture. The valuable buildings of this complex result from the thought and experience of Iranian architecture in combining with Islamic mysticism.


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