In 1983, Iranian archaeologists found a number of
valuable artifacts in Arjan near Behbahan in the southwestern
Khuzestan province. Among them was a chalice bearing designs
which some experts believe it had been used as a calendar by
people in the 7th century B.C.
Hamid Reza Mansourian, an archaeologist, maintained there are
amazing designs on the chalice the like of which could be seen
on few utensils from that period.
"the designs could not be said to be only for decoration or
story telling," he stressed. There are two theories with
regard to the chalice, he continued. One is posited by Dr.
Majidzadeh who believes it is comparable to the Phoenician ones,
while the second put forward by Mohammad Naqi Saraf maintains
its designs tell the story of a historic event.
Mansourian said in addition to human designs, there are specific
signs which may have to do with seasons, months and days.
"This suggest it could have been a calendar. The chalice
bears pictures of various constellations," he noted.
When discovered, the chalice was flanked by some 98 gold
buttons, a gold ring and a dagger.
43 centimeters in diameter, the chalice in 8 centimeters deep
and now is held in the storage of the ancient Iran museum.