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Introduction of World Heritage Sites in Iran (1)

Choghaznabil, the first Iranian monument on the world list

So far, 26 historical-cultural monuments and natural sites from Iran have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This list contains 24 cultural works and two natural heritages. UNESCO World Heritage is the name of an international treaty ratified by the General Conference of UNESCO on November 16, 1972. Its subject is the preservation of historical, natural, and cultural monuments of human beings that are of global importance and belong to all human beings on earth, regardless of race, religion, and nationality.

Iran joined UNESCO world heritage convention three years after ratifying the General Conference of UNESCO on Wednesday, February 26, 1975. The three sites: Choghazanbil, Persepolis, and Naghsh-e Jahan Square, were the first three to be added to the U ESCO world heritage list in Iran, and no records were filed for world registration until 24 years later.

In this article, we introduce Choghaznabil, the first world-registered Iranian monument:

Identity of Choghaznabil shrine

Location: Iran, Khuzestan province, Shush city

Global registration number: 113

World Registration Date: 1979, Third UNESCO Session National Registration Number: 895

Date of national registration: December 1, 1980

Choghaznabil Ziggurat is an ancient shrine that was built around 1250 BC in the Elamite civilization. This ziggurat is the central structure of the ancient site left over from the Elamite complex of Ontash, located near Susa in Khuzestan province. Choghaznabil was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 as the first historical monument from Iran. Its unique architecture, along with the ziggurats found in Mesopotamia, is known to archaeologists and lovers of world history and cultural heritage. Choghaznabil was the only found example of such a structure in Iran before discovering the ziggurats of Konar Sandal and Tepe Sialk. Orientalists consider Choghaznabil to be the oldest known religious structure in Iran.

Choghaznabil shrine is located in southwestern Iran, in the city of Shousha in Khuzestan province, near the ancient region of Haft Tappeh. This structure is located 35 km west of the ancient city of Shushtar and 40 km southeast of the ancient city of Shousha.

Dūr Untaš ritual complex around 1250 BC, during the reign of the Elamite king Ontash Napirisha, was built in praise of “Inshushinak,” the guardian god of Susa. Choghaznabil shrine, like many other cities in Ilam, was destroyed in the Ilam-Assyrian wars in 645 BC by the Assyrian army led by “Ashurbanipal.”

In 1890, the famous geologist Jacques de Morgan reported oil fields in the Choghaznabil area. It seems that the Iranian Oil Company was founded after this news was out. Fifty years later, engineers engaged in oil operations in Choghaznabil found a brick with inscriptions on it. The bricks were sent to archaeologists excavating in Susa. Then a series of excavations were carried out in Choghaznabil, which led to the discovery of the Choghaznabil shrine and other important artifacts.

For centuries, the structure was buried underground in an inverted basket until the Frenchman Roman Ghirshman excavated it during the Second Pahlavi period.

Out of the six criteria set out by UNESCO for adding a monument in the UNESCO world heritage list, each work should have at least one of these criteria. Choghazanbil meets the 3rd and 4th criterion. These two criteria represent a place, respectively:

– An outstanding example of a type of building or complex of architecture or technology or landscape that represents a stage or stages in human history; Be a prime example of a traditional human settlement or land use, representing one or more cultures, significantly when it is affected by irreversible changes.

Choghaznabil shrine is located inside the city called “Dūr Untaš” (Dur means the town and “Untaš” show the name of the builder of the structure and the purpose of its construction), which covers an area of about 1000×1300 meters in length and consists of three brick fences The main temple (ziggurat) in the center of the first fence, palaces and small shrines in the second fence, the underground royal tombs, and royal palaces and the water treatment plant in the third fence, respectively.

Other temples were built for the gods and goddesses of Elam in Choghaznabil, which are: Nusku (God of Fire) Pinikir (Grandmother of the Gods) Adad (god of air) Nin – Ali (Wife of the God of Air) Shimut (God of Ilam) Manzat (wife of the god of Ilam) Nepratep (Goddess of Sustenance) Ruhuratir (God of Knowledge) Hishmitik (wife of God Anzan) Gal (Great God of Elam) Ishni – karab (goddess of oath)

The ziggurat had five floors, of which two now remain. The sides of the Choghaznabil ziggurat are 105 x 105 meters, and its height from the ground is about 53 meters, of which 25 meters now remain. The interior texture of the walls is made of clay, and the exterior is made of brick. Some of the bricks used in the ziggurat are glazed, and others have stud-shaped decorations that are one of the oldest tiles in the world. All around the ziggurat, bricks with Elamite cuneiform can be seen, and the inscriptions show the name of the builder of the building and the ideal of its construction.

On the northwestern and southwestern fronts, two circular platforms can be seen and various uses, such as alter platform, statue installation), a sundial, an area for foretelling and astronomy, have been speculated for them.

Choghaznabil Water Treatment Plant is located on the western side of the main shrine. This treatment plant was built using inter-related tanks and is therefore considered the oldest treatment plant globally. Roman Gershman, digger of Choghaznabil, believes that the water used by the treatment plant is supplied from a distance of 45 km through a canal from the Karkheh River. The Dez River is 3 km from the shrine. Choghaznabil water is not provided from Dez River due to the height difference between Choghazanbil area and the surface of Dez River.

Despite being a World Heritage Site, there are concerns about the level of privacy of one of these ancient structures, especially in the last few years. * Using the Wikipedia encyclopedia


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