Iran, a cradle of civilization

Culture

Treasures of early civilizations

Simple, but functional - this building consisting of one room only was constructed in the sixth millennium BC. The exhibition "Iran. Ancient Culture Between Water and Desert" in Bonn's Bundeskunsthalle museum shows how people lived in the region from the sixth millennium BC until Darius I became king of Persia and founded the Achaemenid dynasty in 522 BC.

Culture

The Tower of Babel

The Tower of Babel has been associated by scholars with the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to the Mesopotamian god Marduk by Nabopolassar, king of Babylonia. It was demolished by Alexander the Great. The story linked to it was meant to explain the origin of different languages. It was recorded in Genesis, the first book of the Jewish Tanakh and the Old Testament.

Culture

The Royal Game of Ur

Among the exhibits are backgammon boards made of soap stone and beautifully decorated with snakes and birds. The Royal Game of Ur was already played all over Western Asia in the third millennium BC. Also called the Game of 20 Squares, it is still popular today.

Culture

Sensational findings at the plain of Jiroft

In 2001, police succeeded in safeguarding significant findings that had been looted from the plain of Jiroft, in particular beautiful vessels made of chlorite. This item here dates back to the third millennium BC. Chlorite abounds in a quarry located in Tepe Yahya roughly 90 kilometers from the archaeological site.

Culture

Drinking and celebrating

Wealthy people who lived back then are believed to have drunk wine from gold goblets at the tombs of their dead. The goblets used during these ceremonies give proofof highly developed manual and technical skills. Half-human and half-animal creatures decorated the cups like reliefs. Their heads were added later on.

Culture

Jewelry worn by princesses

Is this a fairy tale of 1,001 nights? This heavy gold jewelry including rings, bracelets and chains, was found in a tomb of two Elamite princesses in the village of Jubaji close to the Persian Gulf in 2007. The princesses were also provided with food and religious items believed to assist them during their journey to the next world.

Culture

Royal residence

Tshogha Zanbil was the residential city of King Untash-Napirisha (1275-1240 BC). It was surrounded by three huge walls. As the finding of thousands of bricks there suggests, there might have been plans to expand the city.

Culture

Paradise on earth

The Persian Garden has been named a UNESCO's World Heritage Site. A typical inner court garden was reconstructed for the exhibition in Bonn's Bundeskunsthalle. The central water basin with fountains offers refreshment. It is flanked by exotic flower beds. People can relax in a loggia with couches. High walls protect them against the sun - and curious onlookers.

Ancient Persians were visually oriented and close to nature. Artifacts that only narrowly escaped theft are now on show for the first time outside of Iran. The German exhibition reveals the origins of present-day Iran.