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Arjan Chalice, Calendar of Ancient People in Iran


News Category:

Prehistory - Cultural

 31 January 2004



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.



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