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Plea to save Iranian Elamite Bas-Relief

An archaeologist has asked Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) to save the Elamite rock bas-relief of Kurangun, located in the Baba Meydan region in Fars Province. 

The Elamite rock bas-relief of Kurangun in the Baba Meydan region of Fars Province [Credit: dynamosquito/Flickr]
The Kurangun bas-relief is in very poor condition, Noruz Rajabi of the Marvdasht Islamic Azad University told the Persian service of ISNA on Tuesday. 

Located on the top of Mount Paraweh, the bas-relief depicts a scene of religious worship. 

"Part of the bas-relief has split and shifted from its place and at any moment, there is high likelihood that the severed part might fall," he added. 

Rajabi said that natural factors like wind, rainfall and climate change have also seriously damaged the bas-relief, so that its details are barely visible. 

The bas-relief is important since it is the only Elamite bas-relief bearing images of the Elamite deities, he noted. 

He said that the bas-relief bears images of an Elamite divine couple, most likely the god Humban (Khumban) and the goddess Kiririsha (Kirisha), who are sitting on a curved snake-shaped throne while fountains gush forth from their hands. 

They are wearing horned crowns and a number of priests are praying before them. 

"The horned crown is a deity symbol, which has its origins in the traditions of the Sumerians. In addition, the image of a bent snake in the bas-relief shows its strong position during the Elemites, which considered it a symbol of fertility," he stated. 

Rajabi said that illegal excavations by smugglers have caused serious damage to the ancient site around the bas-relief over the past decade. 

Source: Payvand Iran News [May 23, 2012]

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