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Anubanini Bas-Relief Should be Added to Bistun’s UNESCO Dossier: Expert


09 August 2006





Darius_the_Great_Inscription_of_Behistun.gif (86280 bytes)

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 Above: The Inscription of Darius the Great,  Bistun.

Below: Rock Cut Relief of Anubanini and Ishtar, Sar-e-Pol near Bistun, Old Babylonian, 2000/1930 BCEE (Click to enlarge)

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.


Bistun, 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.


“Due 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 Monday.


Bistun (also known as Bistun) is located in western Iran, 30 kilometers east of the provincial capital Kermanshah, at the foot of the Zagros Mountains.


The area was on the ancient trade route linking the Iranian high plateau with Mesopotamia and contains remains from prehistoric times to the Median and Achaemenid eras.


The 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.


The 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.


Located 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.


The Lullubi were an ancient group of tribes that inhabited the Sherizor plain in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran.


The 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.


The 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.


All the prisoners are completely naked, except for one with a different hairstyle who is wearing a hat.



Anubanini bas-relief inspires Darius in Bistun


“Due 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.


“The 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.


However, Mehdiabadi also acknowledged a number of differences between the two sites.


“Unlike 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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Extracted From/Source: Mehr News

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.




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