UNESCO adds 8 pre-Islamic Iranian sites to heritage list

UNESCO adds 8 pre-Islamic Iranian sites to heritage list

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UNESCO has added 8 pre-Islamic Iranian sites to heritage list at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Manama being held since 24 June. The sites collectively appear on the worldwide list as the “Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars region (Islamic Republic of Iran)”.

These fortified structures, palaces, and city plans date back to the earliest and latest times of the Sassanian Empire, which stretched across the region from 224 to 658 CE. After the fall of the Parthian empire, the Sassanids ruled territory that, at its peak, stretched from the west of Afghanistan to Egypt, before falling to the Arab conquest under the Umayyad caliphate in the middle of the seventh century.

Among these sites is the capital built by the founder of the dynasty, Ardashir Papakan, as well as a city and architectural structures of his successor, Shapur I. The archaeologic landscape reflects the optimized utilization of natural topography and bears witness to the influence of Achaemenid and Parthian cultural traditions and of Roman art, which had a significant impact on the architecture and artistic styles of the Islamic era.

With the latest addition, Iran now has 24 sites on the heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.