Sunday, December 07, 2003

The World's Oldest Flag

Shahdad flag is a representative of the metal work found in Khabis region in the East of Iran and it's dated back to the early 3rd millennium BC. In the year 1971 an archaeology team in Dasht-e Lut discovered a magnificent metal flag and two large brass plates with fish and deer patterns that represent the advancement of metal artwork in that millennium. The techniques used in making these objects were unique and rear in other regions. In fact such artistic work on metals were seen mostly in the artworks of 2nd and 1st millenium BC. Shahdad Flag consists of a 22.15´24.07cm plate with 4.5mm thickness on the edges and 2mm in the middle, fixed on the top of metal pole which is 1.09m long. At the end of the metal pole there is a figure of a perching eagle. The figure carved on the plate shows a sitting goddess with a woman standing behind her. To the right and below this figure are three women and a rectangular garden with two palm trees. On the left and under the standing women's feet another palm tree is significant, and on the very bottom of the plate, figures of two lions and a cow with long horns are carved. The two lions on plate are on the two sides with the cow in the middle. Two twisted patterns representing the flow of water encampass all the figures on the top and bottom. Between the goddess and the three women is a pattern of the sun in the form of a flower with several pallets. This plate is framed in a thick metal frame which has two moving metal hooks. What makes this frame important is its age, shape and make and from the archeaological point of view, it is a unique object found for the first time in pre-historic regions of Iran.
In the year 1998 there were reports from the Public Relations Department of the Cultural Heritage Organization in Iran that this cultural tresure is eroding. However, the flag is supposed to be repaired and be put on display for the public in the future.

Pictures of the Flag:


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