UNESCO World Heritage registers Iran’s Burnt city
Press TV -(Mon Jun 23, 2014) The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has registered Iran’s Burnt city as a new Iranian entry on its World Heritage List.
Located near Zabol in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, the ancient site was registered during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee held on Sunday in Doha, Qatar.
Some 21 countries defended registration of Iran’s largest prehistoric site on the global heritage list, announced the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Mohammad Hassan Talebian.
“The Burnt City has always been deemed as pacifist and no defensive instrument has ever been discovered at the ancient site,” he said.
“The registration of the site on the World Heritage List could contribute to the issue of the world peace among the countries and cultures,” Talebian also noted.
One of the largest and richest Bronze Age sites in Iran and the Middle East, the Burnt City is believed by some to have been the capital of an ancient civilization that flourished on the banks of the Helmand River nearly 5200 years ago.
Spanning more than 300,000 hectares, the site had extensive commercial, political, and social relations with other important cities in the region’s northeastern and western areas.
Four civilizations have lived in the city which was burnt down three times and not rebuilt after the last fire.
The world’s oldest animated picture, a dice and backgammon set, and the earliest known caraway are among the most significant discoveries at the site.
Despite the excavations and studies carried out at the site, the reasons for the unexpected rise and fall of the Burnt City still seem to remain a mystery.
the Burnt City was excavated for the first time by the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (IsIAO) team led by Maurizio Tosi in 1967. The team conducted nine seasons of excavations until 1978.
The reputed Italian archaeobotanist professor Lorenzo Costantini also traveled to Iran in 2005 and along with three teams of archeobotanists studied the site and excavated the area.
They found that residents of the Burnt City had great skills in weaving tissues, creating fine arts such as decorative objects, stone carving, and painting their pottery.
UNESCO’s World Heritage List has registered 16 Iranian ancient and historical sites so far such as Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Pasargadae, Persepolis and Tchogha Zanbil.
The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee is scheduled to decide about the registration of 35 other sites from different countries during this year’s summit, which will run until June 25.