The people in Iranian plateau are known for their skills in cutting and engraving glass.
Archeologists have discovered an ancient glass-making center at Chogha-Zanbil in southwest Iran. Elamites could make translucent tubes out of glass paste in 1250 BC. These tubes were arranged in window frames near the ziggurat of Chogha-Zanbil.
However, there is not sufficient information about its historical evolution in Iran. Some glass objects like light green beads and bracelets bearing patterns in contrasted colors have been found in very old graves of Lorestan province, DestinationIran reported.
Certain techniques of glass-making are reflected in works belonging to 5th century BC.
According to archeological findings in Persepolis, at around the same time, under the Achaemenians, vessels used engraving techniques.
Before the 2nd century BC, glass making had flourished along the eastern Mediterranean from the Phoenician coasts to Crete Island.
Since the 2nd half of the first century BC, the very center of this industry moved westward to Italy and the regions beyond it. As a result of war between Parthians and Romans in 92 BC, the industry entered western Iran.
New techniques together with inherited Achaemenian traditions showed a substantial trend in glassmaking.
During Sassanian Period
The most interesting objects among Sassanian glassworks found from northwest to southwest Iran are the ones decorated by cutting wheels.
With deeper cuts in comparison to Roman glassworks, Sassanian glass objects were more attractive and well known.
Within the Sassanian Empire, there were centers of glass making like southern Mesopotamia, Ctesiphon, Gilan province, western Alborz, Susa and Rey. Embossed patterns and kiln-decorated glassworks attracted a great deal of attention under Sassanians.
Many of the glass vessels made in various regions from Europe to Japan between 3rd and 7th centuries AD followed the Sassanian traditions. Of course, Roman traditions were used by Iranians, but on pure Iranian forms.
During Middle Ages
In the early post-Islam period, no sudden change is evident in Iranian glassworks. At times, functional works were made of green, impure glass.
Gradually, forms evolved and varied until the Seljuk Era when some common production processes were totally abandoned.
Blowing in the mold became the dominant technique to produce most glassworks. There were three simple methods used in glass making, of which engraving by wheel was the most important one implemented from an artistic viewpoint.
In the early Abbasid Era, engraved glassworks were created by three technical methods: Engraving to shape embossed patterns, direct cutting on embossed patterns and a combination of the two methods.
Decorative items were designed in oval patterns and embossed knobs mostly on decanters, ewers and perfume holders. At times, silver mixtures were also used to stain yellow color on glassworks in Egypt, Damascus and Iran.
During the Seljuk and Mongol invasions of Iran, glassworks did not go through a flourishing process. In the history of glass making, gilded and enameled glassworks were created in some centers of Syria.
During Safavid and Later Periods
Syrian artists and artisans had to emigrate to Samarqand as a result of Timurid invasion. The general decline in the 15th-century’s glass-making industry paved the way for European glassware to penetrate Syria and other markets along the eastern Mediterranean.
During that period, it seemed that Armenians imported European glassware to Tabriz and then sent to other towns and cities inside Iran.
Instead, various kinds of silk cloths were exported to Europe via the same route from Iran.
Iran, then, was a good customer for European, especially Venice made, mirrors and vases used as the base of water pipes. Shiraz was the center of good quality glassware in Iran. In the workshops of Shiraz, various kinds of bottles, glasses, gooseneck sprinklers, etc. were made. They were often transparent and colorless.
Shiraz and later Qom became the centers of glass making in Iran until 20th century and focused on making bottles. They were the only glass items traded during this period. At present, Iran’s glass-making industry meets a large part of the domestic requirements for different types of glass.
No Limits on Expanding Lebanon Cultural Ties
Translated by Leila Imani
There is no restriction on expansion of ties between Iran and Lebanon, said Mohammad Sharif Malekzadeh, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.
Speaking in a meeting with Lebanese Culture Minister Gaby Layoun, Malekzadeh said the two countries share a large number of religious, cultural, social and political commonalities, adding that the governments and nations of Iran and Lebanon are friends, CHTN reported.
Referring to the special status of Iran in the field of cultural heritage and tourism, he said this helps pave the way for expansion of ties between Iran and Lebanon.
Malekzadeh said that holding joint training workshops, exchanging know-how between the two countries and enhancing bilateral cooperation in the field of archeological excavation are among the most important targets that should be pursued by the two countries.
The official proposed that a joint technical committee be established to pursue implementation of the agreement signed between Iran and Lebanon in the year to March 2011 in the field of cultural heritage.
“Plans can be drawn up for holding international cultural festivals to be attended by other Arab countries of the region and the world,” he said.
Malekzadeh said the local music of Iran introduces the traditions and customs of each region of Iran.
Layoun expressed satisfaction over his visit to Iran and said he has been strongly affected by the culture and hospitality of Iranians. He invited Malekzaeh to travel to Lebanon.
The Lebanese tourism minister noted that during his recent visit to Iran’s National Museum, he identified the deep cultural commonalities between the two countries.
Yazd Wind Towers for UNESCO Registration
The wind towers of Yazd will be proposed for registration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in the year to March 2016, said the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization for cultural heritage.
Masoud Alavian-Sadr also said the wind towers have special characteristics of Iranian-Islamic architecture used in Iran since 5th century AH (after hegira).
He noted that no country has presented the dossier of Yazd’s wind towers to UNESCO.
The official said the construction techniques of wind towers have been registered on the Intangible National Heritage List in the current year. Wind towers are important elements in traditional Iranian architecture, providing natural air-conditioning in hot, dry and humid climates for thousands of years.
These towers are built not only on ordinary houses but also on top of water cisterns and mosques.
Wind towers were built over cisterns in warm dry regions to help balance humidity inside the structure.
In many desert buildings, wind towers were built on top of a lavabo. The wind was directed over the pool where it evaporated the water and helped transfer cool air to other rooms.
By Hatef Isfahani
Open your heart’s eye to behold the living core,
Whatever is hidden there you will score.
If in the realm of love you plough, the bowers
From pole to pole you will see clustered with flowers.
To all lovers this realm, obedient does roll,
And globes in globes circle from pole to pole.
What you see is that which your heart wants,
And that which you behold is your heart.
The footless beggar in this realm of passion
Will see a world of wealth and of fashion.
Here the feet of all the bare-footed are pressed
On the head of the pompous and the mightiest.
Each atom of your tender heart you bore,
You will see a sun smiling within the core.
And if in the furnace of love you expire whole,
You will find love the alchemy of the soul.
And if you forsake the cares of life, beyond
A vast empire you’ll see which has no bound.
That which is barred to your ear you will hear
And that blurred to your eye will appear.
Fired you soar high and reach a sphere boldly
Where one you see of the world and the worldly.
Love the One only with all your heart and soul
And see with surety, clarity and fully.
That there is God only and none but God
God is the sole being and none but God.
Lamb or beef, 800 grams (washed and cubed)
Quince, 4 medium (washed, cored and cubed)
Yellow split peas, 1 cup (picked over and rinsed)
Onion, 1 large (peeled and chopped)
Tomato paste, 2 -3 tablespoons
Turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon
Liquid saffron, 1/2 teaspoon
Dried lemons, 2
Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Cinnamon, a dash
Water, 2 cups
Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
Butter, 1 tablespoon
Salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy pot, heat oil and saute chopped onions until they are golden brown, add turmeric and stir. Place the meat and brown on all sides.
Then add the peas to the pot and give it a gentle stir. Cook for five minutes and add salt and pepper, cinnamon, saffron and dried lemon.
Pour water in the pot, mix in the tomato paste, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook on a medium to low heat for an hour.
Using a non-stick frying pan, melt the butter on medium heat and saute the sliced quince on both sides for ten minutes.
Sprinkle sugar and stir till sugar melts completely. Set aside.
In an oven-proof casserole dish, pour in the meat mixture, adjust the seasoning and gently layer the quince on top.
Cook in the 350 degrees Fahrenheit pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes.
Health Benefits of Quince
Belonging to the same family as apples and pears, quince is regarded as their distant relative. The fruit is native to the warm-temperate areas of southwest Asia, falling in the Caucasus region.
Quince is very much like pear in shape and gets a golden-yellowish outer layer when mature. It is little known as a natural remedy that effectively acts on liver, digestive and respiratory diseases.
A single fruit has an impressive repository of vitamins (A, B, C), mineral salts, carbohydrates and fiber.
In the form of fresh juice, quince helps treat pancreatic insufficiency. You can drink half a glass of quince juice three times daily.
A recent research conducted in Japan showed that the peel of quince contains antiviral substances that inhibit the growth of microorganisms that trigger hepatitis A, B and C. To stimulate liver function, a monthly diet of fresh quince nectar is recommended.
Runny noses, lung diseases and tuberculosis are treated as an adjunct, with quince juice.
Quince can help digestion and its syrup acts favorably in the event of diarrhea, uterine bleeding and hemorrhoids.
Its antioxidant effect is one of the popular health benefits of quince. Antioxidants are known to effectively eliminate cancer-causing free radicals from the body.
Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has implemented 724 tourism projects over the past one year.