Iran – Cradle of Civilisation – Drents Museum

Iran – the history of a civilisation

The new exhibition Iran – Cradle of Civilisation takes you on a journey through more than 12,000 years of history. Iran was once one of the largest civilisations in the world. In fact, it was one of the first civilisations in the world. Due to its geographical location and climate, it fell within the area that developed agriculture around 10,000 BCE; the fertile crescent. This quickly created a civilisation.

Later on, during the heydays of the Greeks, a mighty power arose in Iran. Several tribes were united under the Persian Empire. The Persians and Greeks were often in conflict with each other. Under strong leaders such as Darius I, Cyrus the Great and Xerxes I, the Persians achieved great victories. The Persian empire at its’ peak reached from Greek and Egyptian territories in the West to India in the East. During these periods, the Persians built beautiful cities, such as Persepolis and Pasargadae. In Iran – Cradle of Civilisation, many excavated objects from these cities can be found, thanks to the cooperation with the National Museum of Iran. An example is a beautiful relief on which King Darius I has engraved his great deeds.

After the Persians, a lot of other tribes came to power in Iran. Alexander the Great defeated Darius III on behalf of the Greeks and incorporated the Persian Empire. This was followed by, among others, the Seleucids, Parthians and Sallasids. The last two were a great danger for the strong Roman empire for a long time. As a result, the Romans can never conquer the Iranian territory.


Because the tribes who were living in Iran were so successful, many treasures have been found in excavations. The masterpiece from the exhibition Iran – Cradle of Civilisation is a massive golden cup of two kilos. This cup dates from the Persian period and was also regarded special for that time. Cups such as these (also called rhytons) were often decorated with symbolic figures. This also counts for this rhyton, which shows Persian culture.

The exhibition Iran – Cradle of Civilisation can be visited until November 18, 2018.



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