National Museum of Iran

The National Museum of Iran (Persian: موزهٔ ملی ایرانMūze-ye Melli-ye Irān) is located in Tehran, Iran. It is an institution formed of two complexes; the Museum of Ancient Iran (Mūze-ye Irān-e Bāstān) and the Museum of Islamic Archaeology and Art of Iran, which were opened in 1937 and 1972, respectively.

National Museum of Iran
موزهٔ ملی ایران
Muze-ye Melli-ye Irān
National Museum of Iran logo.jpg
Národní muzeum Íránu.jpg
Museum of Ancient Iran
LocationTehran, Iran
TypeArchaeology museum
Collection sizeArchaeological collections from Paleolithic to Qajar period
DirectorJebrael Nokandeh

The institution hosts historical monuments dating back through preserved ancient and medieval Iranian antiquities, including pottery vessels, metal objects, textile remains, and some rare books and coins.[1] It also includes a number of research departments, categorized by different historical periods and archaeological topics.


The entrance of the Museum of Ancient Iran, part of the National Museum of Iran.

The brick building of the Museum of Ancient Iran was designed by French architects André Godard and Maxime Siroux in the early 20th century, and was influenced by Sassanian vaults, particularly the Taq Kasra at Ctesiphon.[2] Its construction, with an area of about 11,000 square metres (13,000 sq yd), began in 1935 and was completed within two years by Abbas Ali Memar and Morad Tabrizi. It was then officially inaugurated in 1937.

Museum of Islamic Archaeology and Art of Iran, part of the National Museum of Iran.

The Museum of Islamic Era was later built with white travertine on the grassy grounds of the Museum of Ancient Iran. It has gone through quite a few hasty interior changes, and was still being remodeled when the 1979 Revolution swept the country.

General View of Iran Bastan Museum, Iran National Museum, Tehran 2020

While the Museum of Ancient Iran always had a clear mandate to show archaeological relics, as well as some rare medieval textiles and rug pieces, the newer complex began to also feature the exquisite Amlash pottery from prehistoric Caspian Sea regions of Iran. This followed some modern works, and the repeated gutting and remodeling of the interior.

The Museum of Ancient Iran consists of two floors. Its halls contain artifacts and fossils from the Lower, Middle, and Upper Paleolithic, as well as the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, early and late Bronze Age, and Iron Ages I-III, through the Median, Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sassanian eras.

The newer complex consists of three floors. It contains various pieces of pottery, textiles, texts, artworks, astrolabes, and adobe calligraphy, from Iran's post-classical era.

Organizational chart of National Museum of Iran


The oldest artifacts kept at the museum are from Kashafrud, Darband, and Shiwatoo, which date back to the Lower Paleolithic period. Mousterian stone tools made by Neanderthals are also on display at the first hall of the Museum of Ancient Iran. The most important Upper Paleolithic tools are from Yafteh, dating back about 30,000 to 35,000 years. There are also 9,000-year-old human and animal figurines from Sarab mound in Kermanshah, among many other ancient artifacts.


The ground floor of the newer complex has been dedicated to contemporary exhibitions. Temporary exhibition galleries are featured two or three times annually, and usually run for about one to two months. One of the most successful exhibitions, entitled Evidence for Two Hundred Thousand Years of Human-Animal Bonds in Iran, ran from August to October 2014.[3] The exhibition was mainly about the relation and coexistence of past human societies and various animal species in Iran, since the late Lower Paleolithic to modern decades.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ ", Iran's Tourism Guide" Archived 2014-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Sandy Isenstadt, Kishwar Rizvi. Modernism and the Middle East: Architecture and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Studies in Modernity and National Identity. University of Washington Press, 2011. ISBN 0295800305 pp.14
  3. ^ "The Guardian's report about exhibition"

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 35°41′13.36″N 51°24′52.60″E / 35.6870444°N 51.4146111°E / 35.6870444; 51.4146111