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Science and Technology in Iran


1 Science in Persia
1.1 Before Islam
1.1.1 Ancient technology in Persia
1.2 After Islam
1.3 Persia to Iran
2 Science in modern Iran
Science and Technology in Iran (Persia)
• Persia (Iran) was a cradle of science in earlier times. Persian scientists
contributed to the current understanding of nature, medicine, mathematics,
and philosophy. Persians made important contributions to algebra and
chemistry, invented the wind-power machine, Air conditioning, Check, Ice
house, Poker, Postal system, Qanat, Quasicrystal, Roads, Trousers, and
discovered alcohol.

• Persia evolved in two main phases separated by the arrival and widespread
adoption of Islam in the region. Many of the today's concepts in Science
including Helio-Centric model of solar system, finite speed of light, and
gravity were first proposed by Persian scientists.
Before Islam
• History of Iran and Greater Iran (also referred to as the "Iranian Cultural
Continent") consists of the area from the Euphrates in the west to the Indus
River and Jaxartes in the east and from the Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and
Aral Sea in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the
south. It includes the modern nations of Iran, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan,
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, the eastern parts of Turkey and Iraq,
and the parts of Pakistan west of the Indus.

• It is one of the world's oldest continuous major civilizations, covering

thousands of years, from the ancient civilization on the Iranian plateau,
Mannaeans civilization in Azarbaijan, Shahr-i Sokhta (Burned City) near
Zabol in Sistan va Baluchestan, and the ancient Jiroft civilization in
Kerman (more than 5000 BCE) followed by the kingdom of Elam (more
than 3000 BCE) and the Median, Achaemenid, the Parthian, the Sassanian
dynasties and following Empires to the modern Islamic Republic of Iran.
Pre-Historic era
• The earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran were found in the
Kashafrud and Ganj Par sites that date back to Lower
Paleolithic. Mousterian Stone tools made by Neanderthal man
have also been found. These are the oldest-known evidence for
human occupation of Iran.

• There are some collections of simple core and flake stone

artifacts collected by C. Thibault in 1974-75. The tools are
Olduwan-like and mainly made of quartz. Thibault suggested a
Lower Pleistocene age (more than 800,000 years ago) for the
Pre-Historic era
• The south-western part of Iran was part of the Fertile Crescent where most of
humanity's first major crops were grown. 7000 year old jars of wine excavated in
the Zagros Mountains (now on display at The University of Pennsylvania) and
ruins of 7000 year old settlements such as Sialk are further testament to this. Two
main Neolithic Iranian settlements were the Zayandeh Rud civilization, Ganj

• Dozens of pre-historic sites across the Iranian plateau point to the existence of
ancient cultures and urban settlements in the fourth millennium BC.

• One of the earliest civilizations in Iranian plateau was the Jiroft Civilization in
southeastern Iran, in the province of Kerman. It is one of the most artifact-rich
archaeological sites in the Middle East. Archaeological excavations in Jiroft led to
the discovery of several objects belonging to the fourth millennium BC, a time that
goes beyond the age of civilization in Mesopotamia. There is a large quantity of
objects decorated with highly distinctive engravings of animals, mythological
figures, and architectural motifs. The objects and their iconography are unlike
anything ever seen before by archeologists. Many are made from chlorite, a gray-
green soft stone; others are in copper, bronze, terracotta, and even lapis lazuli.
Susa (Shoosh), Iran
6000 years old city of Madaktu in Eilam province, Iran
Golden Cup, National Museum
of Iran. First half of first
millennium BC.
From Jiroft civilization, Kerman, Iran
One of six jars once filled with
resinated wine,7000 years ago,
from the "kitchen" of a Neolithic
residence at Hajji Firuz Tepe in
Iran. Patches of a reddish residue
cover the interior of this vessel.
Dur-Untash, or Choqa Zanbil, built in the 13th century BC by Untash Napirisha and located near
Susa, Iran, is one of the world's best-preserved ziggurats.
Details of the wall of the second platform of the first ziggurat, Sialk, Kashan, Iran.
The 5500 year old skeletons and other unearthed artifacts here are preserved and off
access to visitors. Sialk, Kashan, Iran
From Sialk, Kashan, Iran

Pottery Vessel, Fourth

Millennium BC. The Sialk
collection of Tehran's
National Museum of Iran.
Pottery from Sialk, Kashan, Iran
One of the most important findings in Gohar Tappeh was the discovery of its complex
architectural remains, which demonstrates a strong financial state of Mazandaran province
5000-years-ago. A street with stone pavements belonging to nearly 3000 years ago also was
found in this area at 2006.
Shahr-e Sukhte, 5000-year-old, Iran

Shahr-e Sukhte ( meaninig "burnt city" in persian) is an archaeological site of a sizable Bronze Age
urban settlement, associated with the Jiroft civilization. Shahr-i Sokhta was one of the world’s largest
cities at the dawn of the urban era. The settlement appeared around 3200 BCE. The city had four
stages of civilization and was burnt down three times before being abandoned in 2100 BCE.
The 5,000-year-old ancient cemetery of Shahr-e Sukhtah (Burnt City) in the Iranian city of
Zabol, Sistan-Balouchestan province.
Haft Tappeh (remains of the Elamite city) , Dezful, Iran
Aerial Photo of the site of Ganj Dareh, Kermanshah Valley, Iran under
excavation in the 1970s. New research confirms that this site contains the earliest
directly dated evidence of livestock domestication in the world.
Early history (3200–625 BC)
• There are records of numerous ancient civilizations on the
Iranian plateau before the arrival of Iranian tribes from Central
Asia during the Early Iron Age. One of the main civilizations of
Iran was the Elam to the east of Mesopotamia, which started
from around 5000 BC, and lasted well into the 6th century BC.
The Early Bronze Age saw the rise of urbanization into
organized city states and the invention of writing (the Uruk
period) in the Near East.
• Avestan is an eastern Old Iranian language that was used to
compose the sacred hymns and canon of the Zoroastrian Avesta
in ca. 1000 BC. Zoroastrianism was the main religion of the
people of Iran and the state religion of the Achaemenid empire
and later Iranian empires, until the 7th century.

• Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds

Bam citadel, Bam, Kerman, Iran, 500 BC
Bam citadel, Bam, Kerman, Iran, 500 BC
• Qanat (a water management system used for
irrigation) originated in pre-Achaemenid
Persia. The oldest and largest known qanat is
in the Iranian city of Gonabad which, after
2,700 years, still provides drinking and
agricultural water to nearly 40,000 people.
Qanat in Gonabad, Iran
• Windwheels were developed by the Babylonians ca. 1700 BC
to pump water for irrigation. In the 7th century, Persian
engineers developed a more advanced wind-power machine,
the windmill, building upon the basic model developed by the
• The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC.
Achaemenid Empire(550–330 BC) was the first Persian
Empires to rule over Middle east, Greece and central Asia.
They were succeeded by the Seleucid Empire, Parthians and
Sassanids which governed Iran for more than 1000 years.
Median Empire, ca. 600 BC
The Medes were an ancient Iranian
people who lived in the northwestern
portions of present-day Iran, roughly the
areas of present day Kurdistan,
Hamedan, Tehran, Lorestan,
Azerbaijan, Esfahan and Zanjan. This
area was known in Greek as Media or
Medea (Μηδία, Old Persian Māda;
adjective Median, antiquated also
Medean). Under Assyrian rule, the
Medes were known as Mādāyu. They
entered this region with the first wave of
Iranian tribes, in the late second
millennium BC (the Bronze Age
Achaemenid Empire, (550–330 BC)
• At the height of its power, encompassing approximately 7.5 million square
kilometers, the Achaemenid Empire was territorially the largest empire of classical
antiquity. It was started by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents,
including territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace,
much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel,
Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west
as Libya. It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states in the
Greco-Persian Wars, for freeing the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity, and
for instituting Aramaic as the empire's official language. Because of the Empire's
vast extent and long endurance, Persian influence upon the language, religion,
architecture, philosophy, law and government of nations around the world lasts to
this day.
Achaemenid Empire, (550–330 BC)
• Accomplishments of Darius' reign included codification of the data,
a universal legal system upon which much of later Iranian law
would be based, and construction of a new capital at Persepolis,
where vassal states would offer their yearly tribute at the festival
celebrating the spring equinox.

• The practice of slavery in Achaemenid Persia was generally banned,

although there is evidence that conquered and/or rebellious armies
were sold into captivity. Zoroastrianism, the de facto religion of the
empire, explicitly forbids slavery, and the kings of Achaemenid
Persia followed this ban to varying degrees, as evidenced by the
freeing of the Jews at Babylon, and the construction of Persepolis by
paid workers.

• The twenty three satrapies were linked by a 2,500-kilometer

highway, the most impressive stretch being the Royal Road from
Susa to Sardis, built by command of Darius I. Relays of mounted
couriers could reach the remotest of areas in fifteen days.
Perspolice, Shiraz, Iran
Perspolice, Shiraz, Iran
Perspolice, Shiraz, Iran
Perspolice, Shiraz, Iran
Perspolice, Shiraz, Iran
Perspolice, Shiraz, Iran
Tomb house of Darius. Shiraz, Iran

Ka'ba-ye Zartosht (cube shaped construction in the foreground) against the

backdrop of Naqsh-e Rustam, Shiraz, Iran
Tomb 3 (right) and 4 (left) of the Achaemenid kings, Naqsh-e Rustam, Shiraz, Iran
Tomb house of Darius. Shiraz, Iran
The Cyrus Cylinder is the world’s first charter of human rights. In the 1970s, the Cyrus Cylinder has
been described as the world’s first charter of human rights. It was translated into all six official U.N.
languages in 1971. A replica of the cylinder is kept at the United Nations Headquarters in New York
City in the second floor hallway, between the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council
chambers. The Cyrus Cylinder is kept in the British Museum in London.
The Cyrus Cylinder translation

• I announce that I will respect the traditions, customs

and religions of the nations of my empire and never
let any of my governors and subordinates look down
on or insult them as long as I shall live. From now on,
while Ahura mazda lets me rule, I will impose my
monarchy on no nation. Each is free to accept it, and
if any one of them rejects it, I shall never resolve on
war to reign.

Ahura mazda is the Avestan language name for a divinity exalted by Zoroaster as the one
uncreated Creator, and hence God.
Achaemenid Golden Rhyton, 5th-4th BC
Ancient bracelet, Achaemenid period, 500 BCE, Iran
Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Yazd, Iran
The Ionic columns of the Hellenistic-style remains of the "Anahita Temple“, Kangavar,

Aredvi Sura Anahita (Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā) is the Avestan language name of an Indo-Iranian
cosmological figure, venerated as the divinity of 'the Waters' (Aban) and hence associated with
fertility, healing and wisdom.
Behistun Inscription, Sasanid era, Kermanshah, Iran
Persian writing
Parthians (250 BC–AD 226)
• Persian philosophers and inventors may have created the first batteries in
the Parthian eras. Some have suggested that the batteries may have been
used medicinally. Other scientists believe the batteries were used for
electroplating—transferring a thin layer of metal to another metal surface
—a technique still used today and the focus of a common classroom
• The Chinese explorer Zhang Qian, who visited Persia
in 126 BC, made the first known Chinese report on
Parthian Kingdom. According to the book of Records
of the Grand Historian, Zhang Qian clearly identified
Parthia as an advanced urban civilization and wrote
that, "The people are settled on the land, cultivating
the fields and growing rice and wheat. The coins of
the country are made of silver and bear the face of the
king. The people keep records by writing on
horizontal strips of leather".
Sassanid Empire (226–651)
• Artistically, the Sassanid period witnessed some of the highest achievements of
Persian civilization. Much of what later became known as Muslim culture,
including architecture and writing, was originally drawn from Persian culture.

• The literature, however, makes it clear that the art of painting flourished in
Sasanian times; the prophet Mani is reported to have founded a school of painting.
Ghal'eh Dokhtar, also known as The Maiden Castle , Firouzabad-Shiraz, Iran
Ruins of Gour, Firouzabad-Shiraz, Iran

Ancient city of Gour, Sassanid Dynasty (226–650 AD), is the first circular-shaped city of Iran. Among
the most important achievements in this city is discovery of Sassanid paintings on the stones found in
the ancient cemetery, depicting the Sassanid kings. At the present, this ancient site is under strict
Bishapur, near Shiraz, Sasanid era,
Bishapur, near Shiraz, Sasanid era, Iran
Taq-e Bostan, Sasanid era, Kermanshah, Iran
Falak-ol-Aflak Castle, Khorram abad, from Sassanid era, Iran
Ancient Libraries
• Achaemenids established large scale libraries in various cities in ancient
Iran. The libraries founded in Susa, Persepolis, Pasargadae, Ecbatana
(modern Hamadan), and Isfahan are only a few examples of those
establishments that have been all regrettably destroyed by Greek Alexander
and Arab invaders later on.

• Royal Library of Kohan Dej or Jay in Isfahan, aka Sarouyeh, was one of
the famous large libraries in ancient Iran. The library was located near
where the city of Isfahan is today. It has been documented by some
researchers that the Library of Kohan Dej was firstly founded by Tahmuras
who was the third legendary King of World after Kayumars and Hushang,
and before Jamshid.
• The Library of Jundishapur was one of the most important parts of the
Jundishapur University. The exact date of the establishment of Jundishapur
University is unknown. Some evidences indicate that the University was
founded in 566 AD during Sassanids and it was home to the world's oldest
known teaching hospital, and also comprised a library and a university.

• Borzouyeh, possibly the First Famous Iranian Physician, was given a

mission to go to India to gather the best minds and sources of knowledge of
the day. (Borzouyeh is also famous for having translated the ancient text of
Panchatantra from Sanskrit into Persian, naming it Kelileh-o-Demneh).

• Upon these efforts, Jundishapur University and its Library became an

important center of medicine, science and philosophy of the ancient world.
According to the book of the History of Knowledge and Wisdom, it was in
Jundishapur where every known book on medicine was gathered, translated,
and compiled, making Jundishapur a key center of transmission of ancient
medical knowledge to the new world.
• According to trustworthy documents, in 651 AD when the
Arab commander, Saad Abi Vaghas, faced the huge Imperial
Library of Ctesiphon, he wrote to Caliph Omar and asked
what should be done about the books? Omar wrote back, "If
the books contradict the Koran, they are blasphemous and on
the other hand if they are in agreement with the text of
Koran, then they are not needed, as for us only Koran is
sufficient". Thus, the huge library of Ctesiphon was
destroyed. Other libraries in Ray, Isfahan, Ecbatana,
Pasargadae, Persepolis, Jundishapur, Nisa, and Khorassan
received the same treatment and thousands of valuable
books and documents which were the product of the
generations of Iranian scientists and scholars were sadly lost
in fire or thrown into the Euphrates River!
After Islam
• Islamization was a long process by which Islam was gradually adopted by
the majority population of Iran.

• Although Persians adopted the religion of their conquerors, over the

centuries they worked to protect and revive their distinctive language and
culture, a process known as Persianization.

• In the 9th and 10th centuries, non-Arab subjects of the Ummah created a
movement called Shu'ubiyyah in response to the privileged status of Arabs.
Citing as its basis Islamic notions of equality of races and nations, the
movement was primarily concerned with preserving Persian culture and
protecting Persian identity, though within a Muslim context. The most
notable effect of the movement was the survival of the Persian language to
the present day. The movement never moved into apostasy though, and has
it's basis in the Islamic thought of equallity of races and nations.

• The Samanid dynasty (819-899) was the first fully native dynasty to rule
Iran since the Muslim conquest, and led the revival of Persian culture. The
first important Persian poet after the arrival of Islam, Rudaki, was born
during this era. Rudaki is considered a founder of Persian classical
• Bernard Lewis: "Iran was indeed Islamized, but it was not Arabized.
Persians remained Persians. And after an interval of silence, Iran
reemerged as a separate, different and distinctive element within Islam,
eventually adding a new element even to Islam itself. Culturally,
politically, and most remarkable of all even religiously, the Iranian
contribution to this new Islamic civilization is of immense importance".

• The culmination of the Persianization movement was the Shahname. " The
Book of Kings" , is an enormous poetic opus written by the Iranian poet
Ferdowsi around 1000 CE and is the national epic of the Persian-speaking
world. The Shāhnāmeh tells the mythical and historical past of Greater Iran
from the creation of the world up until the Islamic conquest of Iran in the
7th century.
Tomb of Ferdowsi, Tus, Iran
• The Islamization of Iran was to yield deep transformations
within the cultural, scientific, and political structure of Iran's
society: The blossoming of Persian literature, philosophy,
medicine and art became major elements of the newly-forming
Muslim civilization. Inheriting a heritage of thousands of
years of civilization, and being at the "crossroads of the major
cultural highways", contributed to Persia emerging as what
culminated into the "Islamic Golden Age". During this period,
hundreds of scholars and scientists vastly contributed to
technology, science and medicine, later influencing the rise of
European science during the Renaissance.
• The Islamic Golden Age, also sometimes known as the Islamic
Renaissance, is traditionally dated from the 8th century to the
13th century, though some have extended it to the 15th or 16th
centuries. During this period, engineers, scholars and traders
in the Islamic world contributed to the arts, agriculture,
economics, industry, law, literature, navigation, philosophy,
sciences, and technology, both by preserving and building
upon earlier traditions and by adding inventions and
innovations of their own.
Jaber Ibn Hayyan, known as Geber in
Europe, the famous Iranian chemist who
died in 804 at Tous in Iran, was the
father of a number of discoveries
recorded in an encyclopaedia and of
many treatises covering two thousand
topics, and these became the bible of
European chemists of the 18th century,
particularly of Lavoisier. These works
had a variety of uses including tinctures
and their applications in tanning and
textiles; distillations of plants and
flowers; the origin of perfumes;
therapeutic pharmacy, and gunpowder,
a powerful military instrument
possessed by Islam long before the West.
Jabir ibn Hayyan, is widely regarded as
the founder of chemistry, inventing
many of the basic processes and
equipment still used by chemists today
such as distillation and Crystallization . Jabir ibn Hayyan, medieval manuscript
• One of the greatest mathematicians of
antiquity, who appeared at 9th century, was
an Iranian by the name of Muhammad Ibn
Musa-al-Kharazmi (780-850), whose work
affected the Islamic and European culture
after the 12th century. This noted
mathematician, in addition to compiling a
table of figures named Algorithm, also
developed algebra and revived the ancient
Iranian and Indian arithmetic system. The
works of Khwarizmi "exercised a profound
influence on the development of
mathematical thought in the medieval

Statue Al-Chwarizmis, Technische Universität

The first Muslim who wrote about medicine was another Persian, Ali
Ibn Rabn Tabari, 838-870, who compiled medical knowledge from
Greece, India, and ancient Persia. He was a pioneer of pediatrics and
the field of child development.

His book, Firdous al-Hikmah, was the first known encyclopedia of

medicine, and was divided into 7 sections and 30 parts, with 360
chapters in total. It deals with pediatrics and child development in
depth, as well as psychology and psychotherapy. Unlike earlier
physicians, however, al-Tabari emphasized strong ties between
psychology and medicine, and the need of psychotherapy and
counseling in the therapeutic treatment of patients.
Abu Bakr Muhammad Bin Zakaria Razi known to european as Rhazes,
865-925, made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of
medicine, alchemy, and philosophy, recorded in over 184 books and
articles in various fields of science. He was an early proponent of
experimental medicine and is considered the father of pediatrics. He
was also a pioneer of neurosurgery and ophthalmology.

As an alchemist, Razi is known for his study of sulfuric acid, which is

often called the "work horse" of modern chemistry and chemical
engineering. He also discovered ethanol and refined its use in medicine.
• Avicenna, 980-1037, was a Persian
polymath and the foremost physician and
Islamic philosopher of his time. He was
also an astronomer, chemist, geologist,
Hafiz, logician, mathematician, physicist,
poet, psychologist, scientist, Sheikh,
soldier, statesman and Islamic theologian.

• His most famous works are The Book of

Healing and The Canon of Medicine,
which was standard medical texts at many
Islamic and European universities up until
the early 19th century. The Canon of
Medicine was used as a text-book in the
universities of Montpellier and Louvain as
late as 1650.

• Avecenna is regarded as the father of early

Avecinna (Abu Ali Sina) Tomb
modern medicine, and clinical Hamedan, Iran
• Some of the Iranian translators who knew Syriac, Greek and
Pahlavi languages and translated many scientific books into
Arabic were Al Bakhtyasu, Al-Nowbakht, Al-Masouyeh,
Abdollah Ibn Moqaffa, Omar Ibn Farakhan Tabari, Ali Ibn
Ziad Tammimi, Ibn Sahl, Yusof Al Naqel, Isa Ibn
Chaharbakht, and Yatr Ibn Rostam Al Kouhi. The latest was
Abu Reyhan Birooni, the mathematician and famous translator
of Indian books.
• Abu Reyhan Birooni (973-1084) was the first Muslim scholar to study India
and the Brahminical tradition, and has been described as the father of
Indology, the father of geodesy, and "the first anthropologist". He was also
one of the earliest leading exponents of the experimental scientific method,
and was responsible for introducing the experimental method into mechanics
and mineralogy, a pioneer of comparative sociology and experimental
psychology, and the first to conduct elaborate experiments related to
astronomical phenomena.

• In 1000 AD, Biruni wrote an astronomical encyclopaedia which discussed

the possibility that the earth might rotate around the sun. This was before
Tycho Brahe drew the first maps of the sky, using stylized animals to depict
the constellations.

• George Sarton, the father of the history of science, described Biruni as "one
of the very greatest scientists of Islam, and, all considered, one of the
greatest of all times.“

• The Al-Biruni crater, on the Moon, is named after Biruni.

A statue of Biruni adorns the southwest entrance of Laleh Park in Tehran, Iran
• Omar Khayyám (1048-1122) was a Persian Tomb of Omar Khayyam in Neishapur,
poet, mathematician, philosopher and Iran
astronomer who lived in Persia. He is best
known for his poetry, and outside Iran, for
the quatrains (rubaiyaas) in Rubaiyat of Omar
Khayyam, popularized through Edward
Fitzgerald's re-created translation. His
substantial mathematical contributions
include his Treatise on Demonstration of
Problems of Algebra, which gives a
geometric method for solving cubic equations
by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He
also contributed to calendar reform and may
have proposed a heliocentric theory well
before Copernicus.

1 1
1 2 1
1 3 3 1
1 4 6 4 1

The first five rows of Khaiam-Pascal's triangle

Sheikh Saadi, born in Shiraz, Persia, 1184 – 1283, is one of the
major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is recognized not
only for the quality of his writing, but also for the depth of his
social thought. Saadi is very much like Marco Polo who travelled in
the region from 1271 to 1294. There is a difference, however,
between the two. While Marco Polo gravitated to the potentates and
the good life, Saadi mingled with the ordinary survivors of the
Mongol holocaust. He sat in remote teahouses late into the night
and exchanged views with merchants, farmers, preachers,
wayfarers, thieves, and Sufi mendicants. For twenty years or more,
he continued the same schedule of preaching, advising, learning,
honing his sermons, and polishing them into gems illuminating the
wisdom and foibles of his people.
One of his more famous quotes is, "Whatever is produced in haste goes easily
to waste." Another famous poem focuses on the oneness of mankind and is
used to grace the entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New
York with this call for breaking all barriers:

Human beings are members of a whole,

In creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,

Other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,

The name of human you cannot retain.

Saadi's Tomb, Shiraz, Iran
• Khajeh Nassireddin Tusi (1201-1274) was a prolific polymath writer: an
astronomer, biologist, chemist, mathematician, philosopher, physician,
physicist, scientist, theologian. Tusi made very accurate tables of planetary
movements. His model for the planetary system is believed to be the most
advanced of his time, and was used extensively until the development of
the heliocentric model in the time of Nicolaus Copernicus. Tusi was also
the first to present empirical observational evidence of the Earth's rotation,
using the location of comets relevant to the Earth as evidence. Tusi was
perhaps the first to treat trigonometry as a separate mathematical discipline,
and in his Treatise on the Quadrilateral, he gave the first extensive
exposition of spherical trigonometry, as he was the first to list the six
distinct cases of a right triangle in spherical trigonometry.

• He also created the famous sine formula for plane triangles, which was one
of his main mathematical contributions:

• a / sin A = b / sin B = c / sin C.

• A 60-km diameter lunar crater located on the southern hemisphere of the

moon is named after him as "Nasireddin". A minor planet 10269 Tusi
discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh in 1979 is
named after him.
In the 13th century, more than 600 years before Charles Darwin, Nasir al-
Din Tusi developed a basic theory of evolution. Key differences exist
between Tusi's approach and Darwin's The Origin of Species. While
Darwin used deductive reasoning, gathering samples of plants and
animals to work his way from facts to a theory, Tusi used a more
theoretical approach. Tusi explained that "hereditary variability" was the
leading force of evolution. He wrote that all living organisms were able to
change and that the animate organisms developed owing to their
hereditary variability, saying "the organisms that can gain the new
features faster are more variable. As a result, they gain advantages over
other creatures." This sounds remarkably like a simplistic form of
Darwin's writings about mutations. Tusi was correct when he suggested
that "the bodies are changing as a result of the internal and external
interactions"; that is, as a result of environmental influences.
Maragheh Observatory, bulit in 1259, Maragheh, Iran
The tower of Radkan, built in 1261, Gorgan, Iran
Hafez was a Persian mystic and poet born in Shiraz, 14th century, Medieval Persia. His lyrical
poems are noted for their beauty and bring to fruition the love, mysticism, and early Sufi
themes that had long pervaded Persian poetry. Moreover, his poetry possessed elements of
modern surrealism.

It is said that if there is one book in a house where Persian is spoken, it will be the Qur'an; if
two, the Qur'an and the Divan of Hafez. Much later, the work of Hafez would leave a mark on
such important Western writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Goethe. His work was first
translated into English in 1771 by William Jones. He regarded Hafez as the greatest poet of
the world.

Hafez-Goethe memorial in
Weimar, Germany
Hafezieh, Shiraz, Iran
Hafezieh, Shiraz,
Hafezieh, Shiraz, Iran
The birth of modern Iran
Persia underwent a revival under the
Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). Shah Abbas I
recognized the commercial benefit of
promoting the arts - artisan products
provided much of Iran's foreign trade. In
this period, handicrafts such as tile making,
pottery and textiles developed and great
advances were made in miniature painting,
bookbinding, decoration and calligraphy. In
the sixteenth century, carpet weaving
evolved from a nomadic and peasant craft to
a well-executed industry with specialization
of design and manufacturing. A new age in
Iranian architecture began with the rise of
the Safavid dynasty.
• Shaykh Baha' al-Din died in 1610 in Isfahan. His body was buried in Mashhad
according to his will, next to Imam Ali al-Rida's Holy Shrine.

• Shaykh Baha' al-Din's fame was due to his excellent command of mathematics,
architecture and geometry. He was the architect of Isfahan’s Imam Mosque and
also Hessar Najaf. He also made a sun clock to the west of the Imam Mosque.
There is also no doubt about his mastery of topography; The best instance of
this is the directing of the water of the Zayandehroud River to different areas of

• He also designed and constructed a furnace for a public bathroom, which still
exists in Isfahan, known as Sheikh Bahaei’s bathroom. The furnace was
warmed by a single candle, which was placed in an enclosure. The candle
burned for a long time, warming the bath’s water. According to his own
instructions, the candle’s fire would be put out if the enclosure was ever
opened. This happened during the restoration and repair of the building and no
one has been able to make the system work again. He also designed the
Menareh Jonban (shaking minaret), which still exists in Isfahan.
The Monar Jonban (Shaking Minarets), Isfahan, Iran

Its special feature is that if either of the minarets is shaken, the other minaret will
vibrate as well.
Molla Sadra, born in Shiraz, Iran, ca. 1571–
1640, was a philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim
who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the
17th century. Mulla Sadra is the single most
important and influential philosopher in the
Muslim world in the last four hundred years.
He is commonly regarded by Iranians as the
greatest philosopher that their country has ever
produced. His school of philosophy is called
Transcendent Theosophy. Mulla Sadra's
philosophy and ontology is considered to be
just as important to Islamic philosophy as
Martin Heidegger's philosophy later was to
Western philosophy in the 20th century. Mulla
Sadra brought "a new philosophical insight in
dealing with the nature of reality" and created
"a major transition from essentialism to
existentialism" in Islamic philosophy, several
centuries before this occurred in Western
Naqsh-e Jahan Square, built in 1501-1722, Safavid Era, Isfahan, Iran
Ali Qapu - royal palace, 1501-1722, Safavid era, Isfahan, Iran
Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, 1501-1722, Safavid era, Isfahan, Iran
Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, 1501-1722, Safavid era,
Isfahan, Iran
Chehel Sotun, Safavid era, Isfahan, Iran

The Chehel Sotun (meaning 40 columns in Persian) Palace, 17th century, and its garden Being
mirrored in the still water of the pool, the pillars create a beautiful view. The wall-paintings in the
interior of the building are superlative in their kind. This building - now a veritable museum of Persian
painting and ceramics-was a pleasure pavilion used for the king's entertainments and receptions
Chehel Sotun interior, Isfahan, Iran
Hasht Behesht ("Eight Paradises"), is a Safavid era palace in Isfahan, Iran.
View of ceiling details and oculus, Hasht Behesht
Karim Khan Fortress , 1705- 1779, Shiraz, Iran
Vakil baths, 1705- 1779, Shiraz, Iran
Persia to Iran
• Formerly known internationally as Persia until 1935. The name Iran is a
cognate of Aryan, and means "Land of the Aryans“. In that year Reza Shah
asked the international community to call the country by the name "Iran".
A few years later some Persian scholars protested to the government that
changing the name had separated the country from its past, so in 1959
Mohammad Reza Shah announced that both terms could officially be used
interchangeably. Now both terms are common, but "Iran" is used mostly in
the modern political context and "Persia" in a cultural and historical
Science in modern Iran

•Trying to revive the golden time of Persian science, Iran's scientists cautiously
reach out to the world. According to the Institute for Scientific Information, ISI,
Iran increased its publication output nearly tenfold from 1996 to 2004, and has been
ranked first in terms of output growth rate (followed by China).

•Currently among the 146 top-performing countries in all fields, Iran ranked 49th
for citations, 42nd for papers.
Science in modern Iran
• Iran is an example of a country that has made considerable advances
through education and training. Despite sanctions in almost all aspects of
research during the past few decades, and brain drain, Persian scientists
have been producing cutting-edge science. Their publication rate in
international journals has quadrupled during the past decade. Although it is
still low compared with the developed countries, this puts Iran in the first
rank of Islamic countries.

• In 2006, the International Monetary Fund ranked Iran highest in brain

drain among 90 measured countries.

• Iran's university population swelled from 100,000 in 1979 to 2 million in

2006. Seventy percent of its science and engineering students are women.
• Clinical sciences are highly developed in Iran. In areas such as
rheumatology, hematology, and bone marrow trasplantation, Iranian
medical scientists are among the world leaders.

• Recently, 2008, report by Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), Iran

was ranked 32, 46 and 56 in Chemistry, Physics and Biology respectively
among all science producing countries.
More historical Places to visit
An old Castle in Elam province, Iran
Masooleh village, built in 10th AD, Iran
Masooleh village, built in 10th AD, Iran

An ancient icehouse, called yakhchal, built in Kerman, Iran during the middle ages, for storing
ice during summers. Ice houses were buildings used to store ice throughout the year, prior to the
invention of the refrigerator.
Throne of Solomon, near Urumieh, Iran

Archaeological excavations have revealed traces of a 5th century BC occupation during the
Achaemenid period, as well as later Parthian settlements in the citadel. Coins belonging to the reign of
Sassanid kings, and that of the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II (AD 408-450), have also been
discovered there.
Abyaneh, red village, is a famous historic Iranian village near the city of Kashan, Iran
Abyaneh has been called an
entrance to Iranian history. The
local clothing, for example, is in
a style of great antiquity. An
Abyunaki woman typically
wears a white long scarf
(covering the shoulders and
upper trunk) which has a
colourful pattern and an under-
knee skirt. Even the most
immediate villages' women have
different dress style so that one
could tell if she is from Abyaneh
or not. They have persistently
maintained this traditional
costume despite pressures from
time to time by the government
trying to change it.
Harireh is an ancient 8th century city located in Kish island, Iran
Qanat of Kish Island is a 15 kilometer long underground city and water system
dating back two thousand years.
Qanat Interior, Kish, Iran
Qanat Interior, Kish, Iran
Chahkoo - Qeshm Island, Iran
Ruins of Shushtar, Khuzestan, Iran

When the Sassanian Shah Shapour I defeated the Roman emperor Valerian, he ordered the
captive Roman soldiers to build a vast bridge and dam stretching over 550 metres, known
as the Band-e Qaisar ("Caesar's bridge").
Ruins of Shushtar, Khuzestan, Iran
Ruins of Shushtar, Khuzestan, Iran
Roman ruins of Shushtar, Khuzestan, Iran
Portuguese Castle, 1587-1629, Hormoz Island
Soltaniyeh, Zanjan, Iran

The mausoleum of Oljaytu was constructed in 1302-12 in the city of Soltaniyeh, the capital
of the Ilkhanid dynasty, which was founded by the Mongols.The octagonal building is
crowned with a 50m-tall dome covered in turquoise blue faience and surrounded by eight
slender minarets. It is the biggest dome in Iran.
Alisadr Caves, Hamedan, Iran

The Alisadr Caves are located about 75 kilometers north of Hamadan. After
one in the USA and one in Indonesia, it is the largest cave in the world. And
according to our guide, the one in America doesn't have water in it, so that one
doesn't count.

The cave was originally discovered during the reign of Darius I (521-485 BC) which can be
verified by an old inscription at the entrance of the tunnel. However, the knowledge of the
existence of the tunnel was lost, and only rediscovered in 1978 when a local shepherd
followed the tunnel searching for water or a lost goat.
Alisadr Caves, Hamedan, Iran
Alisadr Caves, Hamedan, Iran
The Tabatabaeis' House, early 1800s, Kashan. A fine example of traditional Persian architecture,
The Tabatabaeis' House interior
More photos from Iran
Sistan & Baluchestan province, Iran
Azadi Square, Tehran, Iran
Tehran, Iran
Tehran, Iran
Tehran, Iran
Lahijan, Iran
Village of Namakabrood, Iran
Namak Abroud, Iran
Village of Namakabrood, Iran
Eram Garden, Shiraz, Iran
Eram Garden, Shiraz, Iran
Kish Island, Iran
Darius Grand Hotel has been built as a replica of the Apadana Palace, one
of the 12 palaces at the Persepolise, 2,500 years ago.Once you enter this 5 star hotel, you
leave the real world behind and enter the magnificence of Iranian history,culture and
heritage. Kish, Iran
Darius Grand Hotel, Kish island, Iran
Margoon waterfalls near Shiraz - Iran
Tehran mall
Lavasan, Tehran
Heyran Road in Ardebil province
Traditional restaurant, Iran
Hotel Kandovan, Iran. Kandovan is an extraordinary village located on the steep
mountain flank of Sabalan. It is believed that people who were fleeing from Mongol
invaders first came to this village for refuge and then settled here for good.
Kandovan Hotel, a cliff Hotel, Iran
Zagros chains
Alborz chain
Saayeh khosh - southern Iran
Maranjab Desert, Iran
Chahar Mahal & Bakhtiari Province, Iran
Ski Resort , Iran
Anzali Lagoon, Iran