The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
LONDON, (CAIS) -- Bistun (Bisotun/Behestun) Grand Project managing director Maliheh Mehdiabadi believes that the Anubanini ancient bas-relief should be added to Bistun’s UNESCO dossier, according to Mehr News.
an ancient Iranian site bearing bas-reliefs and inscriptions of Darius the
Great, was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on July 13 during the
30th session of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee held in Vilnius, Lithuania.
to the similarities between the Anubanini bas-relief and the Bistun inscription,
we can prepare a dossier in order to add the bas-relief to Bistun’s dossier at
UNESCO. Anubanini is one of Iran’s oldest bas-reliefs and is at least 2000
years older than Bistun,” Mehdiabadi told the Persian service of CHN on
(also known as Bistun) is located in western Iran, 30 kilometers east of the
provincial capital Kermanshah, at the foot of the Zagros Mountains.
area was on the ancient trade route linking the Iranian high plateau with
Mesopotamia and contains remains from prehistoric times to the Median and
principal monument of this archaeological site is the bas-relief and cuneiform
inscription ordered by Darius the Great shortly after he ascended to the throne
of the Persian Empire in 521 BCE.
bas-relief portrays Darius holding a bow, as a sign of sovereignty, and treading
on the chest of a figure lying on his back before him. According to legend, the
figure represents Gaumata, the Median Magus and pretender to the throne whose
assassination led to Darius’s rise to power.
in Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, 120 kilometers west of Kermanshah, the bas-relief of
Lullubi king Anubanini has been carved on a cliff called Miankal. It dates back
to the end of Ur III or the beginning of the Old Babylonian period.
Lullubi were an ancient group of tribes that inhabited the Sherizor plain in the
Zagros Mountains of western Iran.
bas-relief, situated 16 meters above ground level, depicts Anubanini placing his
left foot on the chest of a prisoner while holding a bow and spear in his left
hand and an ax in his right hand. He is wearing only a kilt fastened with a belt
bearing motifs of special ornaments.
prisoner’s nose and his right hand have been fastened to a large ring, and the
big toe of Inanna (Ishtar), the goddess of war, standing before Anubanini, is
poking through the ring. The goddess is wearing a robe that exposes one
shoulder. With her left hand she is presenting a ring to the king, while she
holds a spear in her right hand that is passing through the noses of two other
prisoners behind her.
the prisoners are completely naked, except for one with a different hairstyle
who is wearing a hat.
bas-relief inspires Darius in Bistun
to these similarities, many experts believe that Darius the Great was inspired
by the Anubanini bas-relief in creating the Bistun bas-reliefs and inscription.
Both sites are located on a major ancient route passing Bistun, (the ancient
site of) Gara Arch, and the Anubanini bas-relief in Sar-e Pol-e Zahab and
leading to Mesopotamia. Both sites depict two victorious kings holding bows. The
number of prisoners is nine in both bas-reliefs,” said Mehdiabadi.
prisoners are shorter than the kings. Both kings are placing one foot on a
prisoner, who is bound with his hands tied behind his back. In addition, the
power of both kings depends on the will of the gods,” she added.
Mehdiabadi also acknowledged a number of differences between the two sites.
Bistun, there are no retinues in the Anubanini bas-relief. Prisoners are lined
up in a row in the Bistun inscription, but the prisoners stand in two lines in
the Anubanini bas-relief. Unlike the Anubanini bas-relief, the Bistun prisoners
are all dressed. Ishtar hands the prisoners over to Anubanini, but the guardian
spirit faravahar or farohar alone has been engraved above the inscription at Bistun.”
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