The ECO Cultural Institute, in partnership with the Embassy of Afghanstan in Tehran, Baysunghur Research Institute, and Allameh Tabataba’i University, organized a virtual event titled “A Review of Herat Inscriptions".
According to the ECO Cultural Institute, the program was held for introducing and recognizing the art of inscription and surviving inscriptions from different periods, especially the Timurid and Safavid periods.
The meeting began with the statement of Sarvar Bakhti, President, ECO Cultural Institute. Speaking on the role of petroglyphs and inscriptions in preserving the political, cultural and artistic heritage of past civilizations, Sarvar Bakhti, said: ", In terms of architecture and the art of inscription, the ancient city of Herat, Afghanistan shines among the cities of the ECO region."
"Due to its special position during the Ghaznavid, Ghurian and Timurid periods, architecture and inscription have been well flourished in this city. Existence of numerous cases in this city including the inscriptions of the tomb of Khajeh Abdullah Ansari and the Herat Grand Mosque testify it. Apart from the great history of Herat in the past, Herat during the Timurid period, especially Sultan Husayn Bayqara, has witnessed an unprecedented flourishing in the fields of architecture, tilework, engraving, book decoration, calligraphy, painting, paper making, binding and literature." He added.
Bakhti then went on to say that in order to commemorate the unique efforts of the Timurid dynasty in Herat and their legacy, ECO Cultural Institute has started a series of virtual meetings to examine architectural inscriptions for the purpose of strengthening regional cooperation and familiarizing the people of the region with each other's civilization. The first session of this series is dedicated to architectural inscriptions in Herat. He also thanked the other organizers of this program: the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Tehran, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Baysunghur Research Institute and Written Heritage Research Institute as well as the speakers at the event.
Abdul Ghafoor Liwal, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Iran, was the next speaker. Highlighting the place of Herat in Islamic civilization, he referred to the historical monuments in Herat and the plans of the Afghanistan government for restoration of ancient buildings, especially the fifth minaret of Herat. In the end, the Afghan ambassador in Tehran thanked the organizers of the program who arrange such events to better recognize the region's civilization, Herat in particular.
Dr. Khalilullah Afzali, Director of the Baysunghur Research Institute in Herat, was the first lecturer of the program. Afzali provided detailed information about the bronze water pot of the Herat Grand Mosque, its usage, and reading the inscriptions on it.
Nasir Ahmad Yavar, an architectural researcher and restorer of historical monuments in Afghanistan, also spoke about Islamic architecture courses in Herat, Islamic architectural decorations, and inscriptions. He also introduced the inscriptions of the Herat Grand Mosque and Musalla. Yavar referred to Ghori and Timurid era architecture as the examples of Islamic architecture in Herat. Also, inscription making, inscription lines and their usage in historical monuments of Herat were among the other topics raised by Yavar.
Neek Mohammad Mustamand Ghori, a graphologist and restoration expert at the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, was another speaker at the meeting. He provided complete information about the Timurid and Safavid inscriptions of the tomb of Khajeh Abdullah Ansari, the inscriptions of the tombs of the Teymourid family in the courtyard of the tomb of Khajeh Ansari, Zarnegar House, the inscriptions of Shah Tahmasb and Shah Abbas era and, the inscriptions of the Herat Grand Mosque. It is noteworthy that this meeting was chaired by Mir Ahmad Navid Mashouf, a professor at Herat University.
Many historical monuments from the Ghorian, Timurid and Safavid periods have remained in Herat, and the inscriptions in them indicate a part of the history, art and culture of the ECO region Introducing and re-visiting this valuable cultural heritage is effective in creating stronger cultural ties between the people and researchers of the region.
The virtual meeting "A Review of Herat Inscriptions " was held on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 2:00 PM Tehran time and well attended by university professors and researchers in the fields of calligraphy, inscription, architecture and art.