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Iran May Lose its' Chance to Introduce World’s Most Ancient Animation


21 June 2005



The Iranian president of the Association Internationale du Film d'Animation (ASIFA, International Animated Film Association) warned Iranian cultural officials that they might lose the chance to introduce the most ancient example of animation, which was discovered at Iran’s 5200-year-old Burnt City, during the ASIFA session that is to be held in Seoul in August.


“Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to begin recording the artifact. Further delay will prevent us from completing the work for the Seoul session,” Nureddin Zarrinkelk added.


Zarrinkelk is planning to introduce the artifact during the session and to declare it the logo of the Iranian chapter of ASIFA.


About two months ago, he said, “Since the animation is the most ancient perfect animation in the world, it does not belong only to Iranians. Thus, ASIFA may ask to use it as its logo. In this case, members of the Iranian chapter of ASIFA will make the decision.”


Last December, a team of Iranian archaeologists announced that they had found an earthenware bowl at the Burnt City with an animated picture drawn around which is the oldest example of animation ever discovered anywhere in the world.


The bowl was found in the grave of a person who appears to have been the painter of the animated pictures. The animation shows nine pictures of a goat which is jumping to eat the leaves of a tree.


According to the head of the archaeological team working at the Burnt City, movement is clearly seen in those pictures.


“Archaeologists had previously discovered pictures which had been frequently repeated without any movement, but the new pictures have never been seen in any era. This is the first time that such a thing has been found by archaeologists at the Burnt City,” Mansur Sajjadi explained at the time.


The Burnt City is located 57 kilometers from the city of Zabol in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province. It covers an area of 150 hectares and was one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. It was built circa 3200 BC and destroyed some time around 2100 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times. Since it was not rebuilt after the last time it was burnt down, it has been named the Burnt City.  



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