Sunday, October 11, 2015

Tehran, Iran, October 11, 2015

Our first stop this morning was at The Carpet Museum.  On display are beautiful old carpets from different areas of Iran.  Wool from lamb's and camel's necks, silk and some cotton are used and vegetables, plants and rocks are used for color.  Blue comes from lapis or turquoise.  The stone is crushed and combined with chemicals to make the dye.  The number of knots in 7 cm is classified by radj.  This carpet has 65 radj. The most radj possible are 124!  Designs are either 'tribal' or 'city'.  Tribal designs vary depending on the origin but are usually simple.  City carpets are extremely ornate, often floral designs-

Other beautiful examples-

Our next stop was the National Museum-

where the history of the Iranian people is on display beginning with 10,000-4500 BC, the Neolithic Period.  This pestle dates from 6500-6000 B.C. -

This (probably female) skull dates from 9000 B.C.-

The pottery jar and bowl are from 6700-6500 B.C.-

As ways to make color improved, so did the artwork on the pieces.  This bowl is from 4500 B.C.-

The circular swirl on the vase represents a goat which is a sacred animal because he can climb steep mountains and get closest to God while the cross in the center of the bowl is a religious symbol for Iran-

Both the tablet and the comb date from 3000 B.C.-

In 1993, Salt Man was discovered buried in a 45m long tunnel in a salt mine.  It has been determined he is 1700 years old, was 37 years old at the time of his death, had a B+ blood type and was 175 cm tall-

Also found with him was a needle, a sling, a grindstone, a walnut as well as a leather boot-

The museum is also a popular place for school groups-

Our third museum stop of the day was at the Treasury of National Jewels.  There were numerous security screenings and no pictures allowed so......  The jewellery is from the Safavid ( a dynasty that ruled Persia 1502-1736) that installed Shia rather than Sunni Islam as the state religion and Qajar monarchs.  The world's largest uncut pink diamond, the Darya -ye Nur is there at 182 carats!  There is also a Globe of Jewels made in 1869 of 51,366 precious stones.  It weighs 34 kg.  The seas are made of emeralds and the lands from rubies, except for Iran, Britain and France which are in diamonds.

We left for Yadz via train late this afternoon.  This gigantic Qu'ran is on display at the train station-

It was rice for supper-

My hotel room also had an arrow in a corner, showing the way to Mecca-

Underneath the nightstand was the prayer rug, a small stone, two smaller mats as well as a Qu'ran.  To pray, one kneels on the largest rug facing Mecca and places the stone on the smallest rug on top of the medium sized rug at the top of the large rug and puts their forehead on the stone-

There's a lot of Irenglish-

I guess sleeping in the luggage storage of a coach is as good a place as any-

Looking forward to Yadz tomorrow!

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