Jiroft Cradle of the East Civilization
Can the river Halil Rood be considered as the cradle of mankind ? Perhaps if the information on this civilization was not published in Archeology magazine, some assumed that this has been published to deceive the public opinion John Pro, honorary president of the Research section of CNRS, who carried out excavations in Shush during 1969-1978. believes that the discovered relics in Jiroft have shocked the world. He says: "Earlier we thought that there had been no one living in Jiroft but nomads and their cattle. In fact, Jiroft had been the heart of an advanced , superior civilization So many people, enjoying a social hierarchy, lived there. They had their special viewpoints on the word so they never envied the Sumerians' viewpoints. From now on, Jiroft should be known as the beginning of the history and the other civilizations should be evaluated by virtue of Jiroft Civilization, in the form of a phenomenon before or after it “. In southeast of Iran in Kerman province, there lies the small town of Jiroft bounded to three sides by 4000 – meter high mountains and by Hormoz strait to the northwest . The region with its particular natural conditions has been left far from the tourists and archeological researches mainly concentrated in Mesopotamia. But many relics of this unknown " civilization happened to come out of the plateau of Halil Rood, the civilization which origins from the mankind dawn Perhaps, according to Dr. Majidzadeh , supervisor of the Jiroft project, during the past century archeologists wrongly knew the southern Iraq as the cradle of mankind civilization, but the real origin of this civilization is the land of Jiroft in southeastern Iran .
|Jiroft soapstone vase ca 3000 BC|
Discovery of Jiroft was not the result of the activities of intelligent archeologists, rather the cupidity of those plunderes who excavated the old graves to take the objects. The story began when one of the wagers happened to see a carved vase. It was floating in the river. The day after, all the people of the region came to bring out the heavenly treasure of the ground, as they had passed two years of drought. No one was aware of the glorious past of these objects but the that they could get rich. They dig five graves at that time and brought out some 2000 objects , presented in antiques markets of New York, London, and Paris some weeks later. “ There is no mound or region in Jirof unexcavated Villagers used to dig all the places from dawn to sunset. Each family was given a 60 sqm to excavate Plundering was the extended to the old graveyard where so many objects of funeral processions were buried . “ At last in 2003, the official excavations began in the region and simultaneously a program to make the people of regcie aware of the importance of cultural heritage.
In this region of the Iran, there had been a monarch known as Aratta with a brilliant art and civilization who had set up many civil, cultural centers and towns whose main part were likely centralized in halil Rood area It seems that the civilization of Hall Roud has been born independent of Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC therefore, being older than the Sumer's civilization.
The present cultures of the region were not only considered as the then cultura corridor , but also so effective and helpful in the formation of the most ancient civilization of Mesopotamia that is attributed to the Sumerians However, the International mission including the experts of archeology, anthropology . geology , and ?? began excavations from the highest and widest areas of three mounds of Qsl’eh – ye ( small fortress ) . Kevlar sandal A , and kenar Sandal B.
|Jiroft 5000-year-old Jiroft artifacts|
All over the Halil Roud bank where illegal excavations have been carried out were graveyards . Hernce mounds that is, the living place of the then region’s people, have mainly remained intact , these places are of great importance regarding their unique architecture. The mentioned mounds had been, at least, the largest populated center near Halil Roud during the third-fourth centuries BC.
It has been found that there is a graveyard next to each residential zone whose graves are full of stone decorative objects , potteries , and brass objects including vessels , statues , and arms that were easily in reach of smugglers. Such precious objects were hardly found in living places, One month after the beginning of the excavations in this region , archeologists found the remains of a great clay architecture and thick brick walls depicted with the images of castles with huge fences and walls showing the probability of existence of a great fortress under the ancient mounds, It is surprising that the relics dating back to the third millennium BC was not unknown for the archeologists, Some similar relics have been discovered in Marie, Sand plateau , Persian Gulf coasts , and even Yahya mound. Such similarity has made the experts wonder if the objects had been industrially made in Jiroft and spread in the east through business elations ,
|Jiroft Chlorite artefacts|
Dr. Majidzadeh says : " Regarding the discovery of hundreds of the objects made of stone, pottery, and metal as well as the statues and cylindrical and flat stamps, the cultural region of Halil Roud in the early third millennium BC was one of the greatest industrial commercial centers of the ancient East whose products , specially the stone decorative vessels, used to be exported to Sumenian cities , cultural centers of Diala ( present Iraq ) , and Syrian towns In the west of Euphrates river as well as the coastal towns of the Persian Gulf . They were finally taken to the land of Pharaohs by the merchants . Later research led to discovery of a large part of the town at the center of which there existed a great fortress on an ancient mound Perhaps – this of the governor of the town including the state departments surrounded by a 10 - meter – wide wall for protection reasons , Archeologists believe that there should be a third wall around the town, not yet discovered . Evidences show that this town , the fortress, and its graveyard, along with other plundered graveyards, including the stone decorative stone objects dating back to the third millennium BC , belong to the same people . On the mound of Kenar Sandal A , the remains of the greatest religious construction known as Ziggurat have been found made of 3-4 million clay bricks .
Of this great, unique construction with an area of 400 sqm , two platforms,and probably some parts of the third platform (about 17 meters) have remained .
|Jiroft stone weight Iran|
It has been said that this great construction is as old as the oldest Ziggurat in Mesopotamia discovered some 2300 BC .
Also, the mission found a small part of an important cylindrical relic during their excavations on which there exists some handwriting.
Discovery of handwriting, for the first time, in southeastern Iran in the early third millennium BC is considered as the greatest archeological event of the past century. It is clear that this handwriting style is different from those of Mesopotamia or Ilam .
Archeologists believe that the remains of Jiroft's civilization belong to the first half of the third millennium BC and it should be accepted that the ancient habitants of southeast region, specially Halil Roud area , had been the most ancient creators of handwriting in history ,.
Regardless of the priority, discovery of handwriting in Jiroft is one of the most important events of archeological history from the archeological experts ‘ point of view as the theory of ‘ entrance of this part of Iran plateau to the historical period dating back to the Achaemenian era Is totally rejected and this important document show that the southeastern Iran , Like Egypt , Mesopotamia , and southwestern Iran has entered the historical period during the first half of the third millennium BC .
|Jiroft - Iran|
Dr. Majidzadeh believes that decryption of this script would take many years, Among more than a thousand objects found, some 500 ones include the depicted and engraved vessels, with the main themes of animals, giant and legendary creatures, human, and some species of plants such as palm as well as architectural images such as the view of the ramparts of the towns and their internal constructions. Other objects include : marble bust and sculpture of human and animals, brass statues of human and animals, pictorial potteries, various small objects made of lapis lazuli such as cylindrical and flat stamps with different Images , marble cylindrical stamps, etc . The eyes of the wild animals such as eagle, snake, panther, and lion are made of round stones and the oval - shaped
stone eyes are used for domestic animals and humans . Among the objects found in Mesopotamia there is no trace of stone decorating. Like the Sumerian statues , the busts of all the statues of Jiroft are naked and their skirts are tied up round their waist with a shawl. The only difference is that the statues of Jiroft have necklaces with large round and oval turquoise pendants.
Also all the statues have long half stretching down to the waist from the back .
|Jiroft civilizationstatue of a bearded man ca 3000 BC|
On most of the vessels taken back from the smugglers the image of " animals sultan " is not only used in decoration of stone vessels of Jiroft , but also seen in the combination of human and animals. These combinational personalities always have the animals such as panthers snakes , and human – scorpion under control .
Another common image in Sumerian art illustrates the confrontation of two Wild animals with long neck twisted into each other while the one on the objects sound in Jiroft show two angry , roaring animals such a two lions or a panther and a snake in front of each other with their open mouths . The image of two wild goals , standing on two sides of a tree and are symbolically trying to eat the branches and leaves , is another well -known scenes attributed to Sumerians , Although obviously the skills employed in decorating the vessels and object. are not the same, showing that they are crafted in different workshops , by the masters with different skills , they are superior to the ones of the Sumerians regarding the style and artistic aspects .
For better understanding of the aspects of the Aratta art and its position and importance in the Middle East, we may refer to the texts found in Mesopotamia, The Important document of that ancient time found by the archeologists including a dialogue between two emperors, show that Aratta had been a powerful, great
monarch in the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC .
In this written document, it is said that during the old hierarches rulers of Mesopotamia were well aware of ouch a monarchy as well as the stone mines , and precious metals , in fact, it was based on such knowledge that Enrnerkar , emperor of Oruk , sent his envoy to the kingdom of Aratta in order to reach a large amount of these precious stones ,
This epic story , known as the story of Enmetrkar and Artta emperor , is not only the first Political report on International affairs , but the first message of a ruler sent to the ruler of ancther land in the from of a written document to prevent his message to be distorted .
This historical event wanton on a square tablet ( 22 . 5 × 22.5 cm ) in 600 lines . cuneiform script,Sumerian divided to 12 columns dates back to the early 2nd millennium BC.as described,in the land of Sumer, there lived a strong hero named Enmerkar who was the emperor of Oruk . In the distance in the north of Oruk, in three lands of Iran, there was another monarch named Aratta separated by seven mountain chains from Oruk, Aratta was a prosperous town with many stone and metal mines. At the same time, Mesopotamia was a plain without such materials and highly I need of them. Hence, Enmerkar was greedy over Aratta and its wealth. It is said In this story : Enmerkar is determined to take Aratta under the control of Oruk. Then he asks his sister, powerful goddess and supporter of the town of Oruk, to convince the people of Aratta to bring him lapis lazuli and other precious stones for decoration of temples and praying places. More importantly, during the 3rd millennium BC, industrial men, artists, and architects of Aratta were renowned in the region. And at last, at the end of the story, the ruler of Aratta accepts the offer of the Oruk's emperor and the people of Aratta bring gold , silver , and lapis lazuli to Oruk .
Dr. Majidzadeh says: "Probably, this has not been the first and last presence of artists, architects, and industrial men of Aratta in Mesopotamia as according to the above mentioned facts, we know that in 4th and 3rd Millenniums BC, there were unbroken relations between the artists of these two lands, considering such relations and possible presence of Aratta‘s artists industrial men, and architects in Mesopotamia , tracing the artistic styles and methods of east of Iran in Меsороtamia’s art is of a great importance .
Regarding all these historical documents , if the region of Jiroft is Known as a part of the ancient molarity of Aratta . it can be found out why the ruler of Oruk insisted on engaging the architects and artists of Aratta to build and docusate the sumerian temples .
However , this question still remains: Did great masters of art and architecture go from Aratta to Oruk to do what its ruler had asked? If yes, why should not the splendid constructions of Oruk be considered as the handiwork of the architectures, artists, and industrial men of Aratta?
International impact of Excavations of Jiroft
Discoveries of Jiroft and the theory of the origin of mankind civilization have been the most successful examples in their kinds in the world. At present, the international mission of Jiroft including 27 Iranian and foreign researchers, is considered as the largest archaeological team in its kind. Some experts and their masters from all over the world including the University of Pennsylvania, Paris University, French universities and CNRS scientific studies center, are now studying and researching in Jiroft. No one imagined that publishing the book of " Jiroft , the Most Ancient Civilization of the East", translated and published in three languages of Persian, English, and French, could make other reliable publications enter such competition. Then three elaborated articles were published in the French magazine Archeolagia . The first article was titled as " Cradle of the East Civilization". Then Dossiers Archeolagie published four articles from Iranian, French, and American archeologists and researchers in a special issue. Jiroft's reputation reached the covers of Smithsonian, Aramco, and Newton journals followed by many pages of well-known French newspapers including Figaro, Le Monde, and Liberation. Also French Academy of Sciences that holds general meeting: for attending the speeches ceremonies of scientific events of the year focused its sessions on Jiroft for two years. Nowadays the name of Jiroft is heard in all the scientific, cultural , and research centers of the word so that hopefully the researches carried out in Jiroft will be registered as the greatest, most important archeological event of the century.]
Today, Jiroft is not only a village of 18,000 sq km area in Kerman, but an international focal point Cooperation in research projects of this region has become a dream for researchers of archaeology and art history fields .