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EghtesadOnline: Existence of a significant amount of azure stones in different shapes in the ancient areas of Iran and Mesopotamia as well as the contents of ancient Sumerian texts show that these areas had commercial transactions in the Third and Fourth Millennia, Public Relations Office of the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (RICHT) reported.

A faculty member of Shahid Beheshti University Hamid Reza Valipour, speaking at the scientific session on cultural heritage and precious stones which was held under the auspicious of the Institute for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural-Historical Works, said the Sumerian texts can be evaluated from different angles, The Public Relations Office of RICHT said.

He further remarked that most of the texts have mythological epic aspect and contain direct or indirect historical, social, political, economic and cultural information about the societies under study, IRNA reported.

According to the expert, in the two epic texts known as the “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta” which have been read out by the world-renowned expert in Sumerian history and language, contain information about the exchange of some precious items such as gold, silver and azure stones between the two rulers in Uruka in Mesopotamia and the other in Aratta in east of Uruka.

He said that regardless of the epic aspect of the texts and the fact that how much they could be relied upon in dealing with the issue of commercial transactions between Iran and Mesopotamia in the late Fourth Millennium and during the Third Millennium B.C., the remarkable point is that during archeological explorations in the Iranian and Mesopotamian areas significant amounts of azure stones in different shapes have been found in cultural objects.

Meanwhile, Mohamamd Reza Jan-Nesari, Director General of Metal and Non-Metal Exploration of the Geological Organization who was also a speaker at the meeting introduced the Geology and Mineral Explorations Organization as the sovereign trustee in the field of exploration and significant studies with regard to identification of the gems throughout the country.

He added that in this regard, so far studies have been conducted in 14 provinces in the country while studies are underway in four other provinces and plans have been compiled for the remaining provinces.

Another speaker at the session, Khadijeh Emami, a PhD student of sociology and an expert of the Anthropology Institute, referred to some points with regard to the anthropological survey of the technology for manufacturing jewelry.

She stressed that jewelry is indicative of the social position and status of individuals in the society and can display the attitude and type of thinking, intellectual and economic levels and type of attitude to life in every social class.

According to the researcher, since this art is being considered as one of the local technologies, its survey and registration will be one of the important activities in line with the preservation of technology.

Also speaking at the session, Hamed Fazliani who is the head of the Neyshabour Turquoise Bureau, referred to the mines as the infrastructure of industrial and economic development and said the mines enjoy significant importance in the sustainable development of the country. He added that Turquoise mines in Neyshabour enjoy world credit not only in mineral terms but as an ancient capital.

The speech delivered by Maryam Dara, Deputy of Anthropology Institute on the Urartu precious and semiprecious stones concluded the session.

She said the Urartu Kingdom who ruled from the 6th century until the 9th used precious and semiprecious stones for decoration.

Stressing that the art of the Urartu was similar to that of the Assyrians, but with differences, Dara noted that most of the stones were collected from the graves of women and included necklace, bracelet, earring, fetish, repellents of evil spirits having circle, oval or long cuttings.

Pointing out that the stones were opal (carmine), magnesite, anthracite, jade, crystal and pearl, she reiterated that a stone inscription has been discovered so far.

The “Cultural Heritage and Precious Stones” session was attended by professors and lectureres of academic centers, researchers and students of different courses. The session was held by the Gem and Crystal working group of the Research Center for Conservation and Restoration of Historical-Cultural Monuments of the Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism, with the collaboration of Nazli Daarkhal and Iraj Beheshti.

Iran archeology Azure stones Mesopotamia