Skip to comments.Jiroft Is Lost Link Of Chain Of Civilization: Majidzadeh
Posted on 01/13/2007 3:15:01 PM PST by blam
Jiroft is lost link of chain of civilization: Majidzadeh
TEHRAN, Jan. 12 (MNA) -- Iranian archaeologist Yusef Majidzadeh believes that Jiroft is the lost link of the chain of civilization and says it has such a significant civilization that he would be proud to be named an honorary citizen of the ancient site.
In a seminar entitled Jiroft, the Cradle of Oriental Civilization held in Kerman on Thursday, he said, The history of civilization in Jiroft dates back to 2700 BC and the third millennium civilization is the lost link of the chain of civilization which archaeologists have long sought.
We do not deny the Mesopotamian civilization, but we believe that the Jiroft civilization is of equal importance to the Mesopotamian. The only difference is that the Mesopotamian civilization had cultural continuity while the Jiroft civilization suffered from ups and downs for natural reasons. Thus it emerged in a certain period and was buried at a later time.
Located next to the Halil-Rud River in the southern province of Kerman, Jiroft came into the spotlight nearly five years ago when reports of extensive illegal excavations and plundering of the priceless historical items of the area by local people surfaced.
Since 2002, five excavation seasons have been carried out at the Jiroft site under the supervision of Professor Majidzadeh, leading to the discovery of a ziggurat made of more than four million mud bricks dating back to about 2200 BC.
Many ancient ruins and interesting artifacts have been excavated by archaeologists at the Jiroft ancient site, which is known as the archeologists lost heaven.
After the numerous unique discoveries in the region, Majidzadeh declared Jiroft to be the cradle of art. Many scholars questioned the theory due to the fact that no writings had yet been discovered at the site, but shortly afterwards his team discovered inscriptions at Konar-Sandal Ziggurat, which caused experts to reconsider their views on Jiroft.
During the seminar, Majidzadeh elaborated on the latest theories about ancient Jiroft while showing slides of a number of artifacts discovered in the region.
The artifacts show that the region had advanced industries and art. The bas-reliefs and engravings on the artifacts show that the region had at least a 500-year history of art before the objects were created, Majidzadeh said.
He has held regular programs to educate the local people on the importance of ancient Jiroft in order to discourage illegal excavations and smuggling of artifacts from the region.
Almost all of the people who once were the smugglers of these artifacts are now helping teams of archaeologists working in the region, Majidzadeh explained.
Last December, he suggested that archaeologists use the term Proto-Iranian instead of Proto-Elamite for the pre-cuneiform script in use at several sites.
He argued that the inscriptions recently discovered at Konar-Sandal and at some other ancient sites in Iran are older than the oldest inscriptions, like Inshushinak, found at Elamite sites.
Seriously, is this going to rewrite history? EG, did the Jirsoftians invent writing or do the Sumerians still have that distinction?
Yeah, and what have you done lately?
The artists had such a naturalistic way of rendering images, says Yousef Madjidzadeh, foreground. It was a style that was not seen anywhere else in that era.
What Was Jiroft?
...I took the pick in my hand and started to help dig out what turned out to be a remarkably well-preserved stamp-seal impression, Madjidzadeh recalls, now back at his home in the Mediterranean port city of Nice, France."
Painstakingly extracting the five-centimeter- (2"-) long rectangle from the trench walls packed clay, the archeologist turned it to the sunlight. Amid faintly inscribed lines and images of human and animal figures, he was amazed to discover what appeared to be an unfamiliar form of writing. To Madjidzadeh, the seal impression came as his first evidence that this ancient citys society was literate."
To be able to say that Jiroft was a historic civilization, not a prehistoric one, is a great advance, he says. Finding writing on that seal impression brought tears to my eyes. Never mind that we cant read itthatll come later.
"...Gray-bearded, easy-going and energetic in his mid-60s, Madjidzadeh is feeling the glow of vindication. A few years after Irans 1979 revolution, he was dismissed as chairman of the department of archeology at Tehran University. After years of self-imposed exile in Nice with his French-born wife, he returned during the intellectual thaw that followed the 1997 election of President Mohammad Khatami."
The discovery of the Jiroft site came by accident. In 2000, flash floods along the Halil River swept the topsoil off thousands of previously unknown tombs. Seyyed Mohammad Beheshti, deputy head of Irans Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), asked Madjidzadeh to begin excavations because of the archeologists long-standing bullishness on Jirofts significance."
"As the author of a three-volume history of Mesopotamia and a leading Iranian authority on the third millennium BC, Madjidzadeh has long hypothesized that Jiroft is the legendary land of Aratta, a lost Bronze Age kingdom of renown. Its a quest that he began as a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago, when in 1976 he published an article proposing that Aratta, which reputedly exported its magnificent crafts to Mesopotamia, was located somewhere in southeastern Iran."
"According to texts dating from around 2100 BC, Aratta was a gaily decorated capital with a citadel whose battlements were fashioned of green lapis lazuli and its lofty towers of bright red brick. Arattas artistic production was so highly regarded that about 2500 BC the Sumerian king Enmerkar sent a message to the ruler of Aratta requesting that artisans and architects be dispatched to his capital, Uruk, to build a temple to honor Inanna, the goddess of fertility and war. Enmerkar addressed his letter to Inanna: Oh sister mine, make Aratta, for Uruks sake, skillfully work gold and silver for me! (Make them cut for me) translucent lapis lazuli in blocks, (Make them prepare for me) electrum and translucent lapis! prayed the Sumerian ruler."
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Why would Jiroft culture be more significant than Sumerian or Indus Valley, both of which were nearby and older? Not to mention Jericho, older than any of them?
Is this one of those "my culture is better than your culture" thingies?
Has that flavor, doesn't it.