TEHRAN – The area of traditional boilermaking craftsmanship, which had almost fallen into oblivion, should be revived in the west-central province of Hamedan, the provincial deputy head of tourism said.
With support for local workshops and the training of new artisans in this field, the field of forgotten crafts will be brought back to life, Hashem Mazaheri said on Monday.
Copper was originally used to make decorative pins, beads, headbands, mirrors, and defensive tools like swords, daggers, and knives, all of which were discovered on the ancient Hegmataneh hill in Hamedan, added the manager.
Known in classical times as Ecbatane, Hamedan was one of the largest cities in the ancient world. Pitifully few vestiges of Antiquity, but significant parts of the city center are devoted to excavations. Ecbatane was the capital of Media and subsequently a summer residence for the Achaemenid kings who ruled Persia from 553 to 330 BC.
Hamadan has had many names: it was perhaps the Bit Daiukki of the Assyrians, Hangmatana, or Agbatana, among the Medes, and Ecbatana among the Greeks. One of the middle capitals, under Cyrus II (the Great; died 529 BC)
Around 1220 Hamedan was destroyed by the Mongols. In 1386 it was sacked by Timur (Tamerlan), a Turkish conqueror, and the inhabitants were massacred. It was partly restored in the 17th century and then changed hands often between the ruling Iranian houses and the Ottomans.
Sitting on a high plain, Hamedan is gracefully cool in August but prone to snow and freezing cold from December to March. In summer, the air is often foggy.
Ali Sadr Cave, Ganjnameh Inscriptions, Avicenna Mausoleum, Hegmataneh Hill, Alaviyan Dome, Jameh Mosque and St. Stephanos Gregorian Church are among the attractions of Hamedan just to name only a few.
Overview of boilermaking in Iran
Boilerwork is one of the ancient crafts in Iran, which was practiced between the 6th and 7th millennium BC, however, the culmination of the art dates back to the Safavid era (1501-1736), when the use of copper dishes and objects has been popular among people.
Archaeological evidence found at Tepe Sialk and other mining locations such as Talmesi and Anarak, and Tall-e Eblis indicate that several of the earliest copper mining sites were located in Iran.
During the 5th and 4th millennium BC in Iran, artisans were able to create enough heat to reach the temperatures necessary for the fusion of most of the raw materials then known, and thus to extract the metals.
In addition to this, copper smelting techniques became well known in various parts of Iran during this period. With the advancement of knowledge of metallurgy during the Achaemenid era, finely crafted copper and bronze objects were created, continuing through ancient times.
Although copper is mentioned much less often in geographic texts than precious metals, it appears to have been mined over large areas of Persia during the early Islamic period.
Objects apparently made of unalloyed copper have survived in very small quantities since early Islamic times. The general scarcity of early Islamic copper objects is probably due to the fact that they were normally purely utilitarian, made from copper foil and left unadorned for use in town or in a village; they would have been melted down and reworked when they were old.
In the 15th century, however, objects decorated with tinned copper became common. The reasons for this change are not clear but may have been linked to the gradual decline in interest in inlaid base metals and the return to precious metals for luxury items.
Under the Safavids, tinned copper seems to have been spread throughout Persia, from where the taste spread to Mughal India. The designs on most Safavid tinned copper objects appear to have been derived from the Timurid tradition, rather than that of the Turkmen dynasties, although some are related in style to Safavid painting. For example, a group of objects with figurative decoration has been linked to Western Persia in the second quarter of the 17th century.
With 14 entries, Iran ranks first in the world for the number of cities and towns recorded by the World Crafts Council, China with seven entries, Chile with four and India with three.
The Islamic Republic exported handicrafts worth $ 427 million in the first eleven months of calendar year 1398. Of this figure, some $ 190 million was earned through the suitcase trade (authorized for transfers in duty and tax exemption) across 20 provinces, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.
Ceramics, pottery, hand-woven fabrics as well as personal ornaments with precious and semi-precious stones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, USA, UK and other countries.
ABU / MG