National Museum of Iran

The ” ‘National Museum of Iran or Archaeological Museum of Iran’ ” is an archaeological and historical museum located in Tehran. It was inaugurated in 1937 and retains antiquities from ancient Persia as objects of pottery, metal, books, coins … The museum consists of two buildings. The first is devoted to pre-Islamic collections, the second includes all objects of the Islamic era. The first building consists of three rooms. These contain objects dating from the Paleolithic, Neolithic as well as the Bronze and Iron Age to the late, Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian and Sassanid times. The post-Islamic part of the museum was inaugurated in 1996 and has three floors. It contains many pieces of pottery, textiles, texts, works of art, astrolabes and calligraphy from the Islamic history of Iran.

The oldest objects in the museum are from Guilan and date back to the Stone Age. There are also nine thousand-year-old animal and human figurines found at Teppe Sarab in Kermanshah province. A particularly remarkable piece in the animal register is the animated ibex cup, pottery millennium BC. AD which constitutes the first known example of animation test in the world. By turning the cup on its turn, the potter can unfold the sequences of a bouncing goat. The statue of Darius I () is one of the centerpieces of the museum, as well as the statue of a Prince Parthian reproduced below. Many of the museum’s permanent collections are regularly loaned to other important museums for temporary exhibitions, such as the British Museum in London. The historical department of Lôristan was inaugurated at the opening of the museum and contains 9000 pieces, all of them archaeological excavations or donations and more recently confiscations following the revolution of 1979. Three collections are particularly remarkable, the collection Bazargan (seventeen pieces from Loristan and forty-eight antique pieces), the Mohsen Foroughi collection (which was largely exhibited in Paris in 1961-1962 and which contains more than two hundred pieces here) and finally the Stalkh collection ( twenty-five antique pieces). This part starts in the Achaemenid period, until the Sassanid era and also presents exhibits on the culture of Lôrestan with more than nine thousand objects, especially bronze.

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