Amordad News

Zoroastrian Cultural Heritage in Anthropological Exhibitions and Museums: Yazd Museum

In this section, we will have a very brief look at the second museum, the exact title being based on its website, “Museum of Zoroastrian History and Culture (Marker).”

A large part of the museum is located in the basement of part of the valuable Marker complex building, which Pashootan Ji Dusabhai Marker founded.  He was an Iranian by origin, who lived in India and his ancestors had migrated to India from Iran.
a fullstop after homeland. Many of them traveled to Iran and initiated many projects to establish schools, hospitals, reservoirs, and even some industrial projects, by the end of the Qajar era. Pashtun Marker traveled to Yazd three times between 1303 and 1328 AH to develop and implement several projects he had in his mind. Eventually, in addition to several other projects, he put the foundations of and inaugurated a complex that including a clock tower, two schools next to each other, and an orphanage and dormitory building behind it. This project was one of the best and largest educational complexes in Yazd at that time.

Today, more than 80 years later, Marker Clock Tower is still standing in Marker Square in Yazd, but the two schools, as is evident from the building’s view, are suffering from weak maintenance and lack of care from the Yazd  Education Department. One is more or less abandoned and its classrooms are used as storage, and the other is somehow still accepting students.

Although the entire Marker complex belongs to the Tehran Zoroastrian Association (on behalf of the Iranian Association of Mumbai), the back building, which was known as the Marker Orphanage and is under the direct Supervision of Tehran Zoroastrian Association, in 2006 it was entirely and adequately repaired and renovated by Fereydoon and Mehraban Zartoshti, and under the supervision of Sirous Khosravi, it was entirely and adequately reconstructed. The renovation included:

  • The main building.
  • The exterior.
  • The water storage.
  • The path.
  • The old baths.
  • Restrooms.
  • The green space of the complex.

This renovated complex reopened under the name “Pardis-e danesh-e Marker” (Marker’s haven of knowledg) and according to notes entitled “The first meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Marker Yazd Educational Complex (Marker Knowledge Campus). Marker Knowledge Center’s primary purpose is to organize and direct support for innovation and knowledge based entrepreneurship in the society.  This complex will help establish creative companies by training creative, innovative, and at the same time will join the management of universities and developmental institutions to move the modern market.

Besides, more details are provided under the headings “Objectives of this campus” and “Duties of Marker Knowledge Campus,” all of which are more or less in line with the definition of “the main purpose.” In the following years, as is shown in the Zoroastrian website, the activities of Marker Knowledge campus has been more like a center for holding religious classes and some social, family, cultural and sports gatherings, but in the last days of 1393 the preliminary phase of the Zoroastrian history and culture museum was opened.

A major part of the Phase 1 of this museum is located in the building’s basement, covering an area as much as a complete half-floor.  Regarding classification of the contents, as stated in the museum’s website, its different sections are allocated to:  1- the late Marker’s complex, 2- History of Zoroastrianism and some of the teachings of Zarathustra Spantman, 3- Zoroastrian costumes and celebrations, 4- Religious and traditional dress codes, fire temples, prayers and mobeds, 5- Zoroastrian shrines, 6- Old furniture of Marker orphanage.

As shown above, division of the contents are more focused on Zoroastrian community, and of course some old items from the orphanage, traditional agricultural tools, traditional spinning and weaving equipment, and some traditional household items (copper utensils and clay pots and jars) were included, all of which are in connection with the traditional life of Zoroastrians. In the content plan of this museum, due to the existence of a large space with multiple inputs and outputs, the proper movement path and order of display, as well as the separation of content, .have been done in a much better manner (the initial and general content plan of this museum have been prepared by Miss Mobed and Mr Farrokhmanesh).

In comparison with the alue of the building and the campus and also the water reservoir collection, domestic animal path, and old bath, the museum needs to be improved and expanded. If the “goals of this campus” and the “duties of the Marker Knowledge Campus” were changed by the Board of Trustees, the expansion of the museum to large sections of the ground floor could add to its facilities. The Marker complex with its valuable building and the animal path section, the water storage, the traditional bath, and the beautiful green space is a place where visitors can spend hours without feeling the passage of time. In conclusion, it is worth mentioning (as a friend had mentioned) that the Marker collection includes Marker clock, its two schools and the building known as “Marker Knowledge Campus” and these different sections form the character of the collection.

The fourth part of the article deals with exhibitions; Read the Amordad website next Thursday. Read the first and second parts of this article. 1- “Holding the first meeting of the Board of Trustees of Marker Yazd Educational Complex (Marker Knowledge Campus)”.

* Bahman Moradian; Bundahishn Research Center: Iranian Languages, Zoroastrian Studies

Pashootan Ji Dusabhai Marker. (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

Western facade and entrance of the renovated building. (Photo: Bahman Moradian)

The connected corridor of the “Marker Knowledge Campus” section to the school section. (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

Water storage, located behind the path and traditional bath. (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

Examples of tablecloths in connection with ritual content and celebrations. (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

Examples of conventional tools related to public content. (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

Examples of equipment related to the orphanage (tables, chairs, and sports equipment). (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

Setting! Tools related to the fire rituals. (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

The part that is in the main structure of the orphanage kitchen and is also arranged in the content design like a traditional kitchen (Photo: Claudine Gauthier)

Photos by Bahman Moradian

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