Cyrus Charter to Be Taken Home from UK

Pars News Agency

TEHRAN (FNA)- Officials from Iran National Museum are in talks with their counterparts from the British Museum to borrow the famous Charter of the Cyrus the Great for a few months to put it on public display at home.

Deputy chairman of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Hamid Baqaee, told the Islamic republic news agency in London that Tehran was to transfer the baked-clay cylinder to Iran after finalizing the ongoing talks with the British Museum where is the house of the charter which is considered as the first human rights declaration.

The charter of Cyrus the Great, the Persian King of 539 B.C. is a baked-clay Aryan language (Old Persian) cuneiform cylinder that was discovered in 1878 in an excavation operation in the site of Babylon.

The Persian King described in the charter his humane treatment of the inhabitants of Babylonia after its conquest by the Iranians.

The document has been hailed as the first charter of human rights, and in 1971 the United Nations published a translation of it in all the UN official languages.

The cylinder is currently housed in the British Museum and a replica of it is being kept at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

In parts of the declaration, Cyrus had said, "Until I am alive, I prevent unpaid, forced labor. To day, I announce that everyone is free to choose a religion. People are free to live in all regions and take up a job provided that they never violate other's rights."

Baqaee hoped that grounds would be prepared for the transfer of the cylinder to Iran.

"Cultural ties would help promote social relations among nations," Baqaee said, adding that growing cultural relations would influence nations' political and economic ties as well "although cultural issues are different from political affairs."

Baqaee is in London for the inauguration of an exhibition on Iran's arts and culture during the Safavid era (1501-1732).

The exhibition was inaugurated a couple of days ago at the British Museum and would continue for four months.

Scores of artworks including paintings, calligraphy, China dishes, textiles and handwritten Qurans from the Safavid era were collected from 30 museums worldwide and put on display at the exhibition.

Mazandaran Inhabited 5600 Years Ago


Traces of population in Gohar Tappeh Tehran, March 10, 2009: Archeological studies have indicated that traces of ancient population in Iran+s northern province of Mazandaran goes back 5,600 years.

“Archeological excavations and precise date recognition at the historical site of Gohar Tappeh revealed urbanism had entered the region about 4,500 years ago,” says Ali Mahforouzi, head of the excavation team of Gohar Tappeh of Mazandaran.

The discovery has also led archeologists to believe that powerful political and economic systems in the region were established around 5,600 years ago.

“If we believe in the theory that urban dwelling occurred after agrarian, we could claim settlement in Mazandaran province dates back to at least 5,600 years ago,” Mahforouzi added in a Press TV report.

“We believe the powerful economic system was based on agriculture, animal husbandry, and trade - all among the basics of industry at the time,” he said.

“The history of pre-agrarian dwelling goes back to cave-dwelling era,” Mahforouzi said. “There was a 3,800-year-old gap between cave and agrarian dwelling in the region though.”


Yaghoob Leis Safari's resting place in Dezful - photograph: Rahim Morid

Achaemenid Sites Discovered in Western Iran


Achaemenid soldiers Tehran, March 5, 2009: Iranian archeologists have discovered Achaemenid sites during excavations in the Khandab town of the western Markazi Province.

Excavations have yielded over 80 ancient sites in the area including vast residential areas dating back to the Achaemenid era.

“This is the first excavation project in Khandab and the Achaemenid finds are the first of their kind in the western parts of Markazi Province,” said head of the archeology team Ali Asadi.

“The team has found earthenware similar to the Achaemenid ones found in Fars Province,” he said. “It seems that the area had been a flourishing and prosperous site in the Achaemenid era.”

Asadi believes that these areas may also include governmental road stations.

Khandab excavations have also yielded middle- and late-Islamic faience as well as rock paintings, which are set to be studied and dated.

Sheikh Bahaee's house in Isphahan

Persian Potsherd Discovered in Israel


Persian potsherd Tehran, March 12, 2009: Israeli archeologists have unearthed an inscribed piece of Persian pottery during excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem (Al-Qods).

Persian Potsherd Discovered in Israel Tehran, March 12, 2009: Israeli archeologists have unearthed an inscribed piece of Persian pottery during excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem (Al-Qods).
The artifact, which was found by an archeology team directed by Dr. Rina Avner of the Israel Antiquities Authority, is treated with a turquoise glaze and is adorned with floral patterns.

According to Artdaily, the piece dates back to the 12th-13th centuries CE and bears a black Persian inscription on the neck, which makes it the first of its kind to have been found in Jerusalem.

The inscription has been translated by Dr. Julia Rabanovich of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as, “Was once the embrace of a lover that entreat”.

According to Rivka Cohen-Amin of the Israel Antiquities Authority, the line belongs to The Rubaiyat, a collection of quatrains (four-line poems) by the 11th-century Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer, Omar Khayyam.

The following is the complete translation of the quatrain by the celebrated British translator of The Rubaiyat, Edward FitzGerald:

I think the Vessel, that with fugitive

Articulation answer+d, once did live,

And merry-make; and the cold Lip I kiss+d

How many Kisses might it take--and give.