The 4,500-year-old ancient civilization of Jiroft

The Konar Sandal remains were exposed after flooding in 2001 near Jiroft in Iran. Sheltered by towering, rugged mountains on three sides, this hidden jewel was revealed to be a sprawling Bronze Age urban settlement, built by a magnificent kingdom whose existence had been previously excluded from the annals of history.

In the arid plains of southeastern Iran, nestled along the banks of the Halil River, lies the ancient city of Jiroft. Once a bustling metropolis, Jiroft was the center of a sophisticated civilization that flourished between 2500 and 1700 BC.

The 4,500-year-old ancient civilization of Jiroft 1
Master of animals in chlorite, Jiroft, Kerman ca. 2500 BC, Bronze Age I, National Museum of Iran. Wikimedia Commons

The people of Jiroft were skilled artisans, producing exquisite works of art in gold, silver, copper, and stone. Their craftsmanship is evident in the intricate designs and delicate details of their jewelry, sculptures, and vessels.

The Jiroft civilization was also a major trading center. Evidence suggests that they traded with Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley Civilization, and Central Asia. This trade network allowed them to acquire a wide range of goods, including luxury items such as lapis lazuli and carnelian.

The 4,500-year-old ancient civilization of Jiroft 2
Artwork depicting how the Jiroft Ziggurat may have looked. The ancient monument discovered near Jiroft in southeastern Iran, is believed by some experts to be the original cradle of civilization. The excavations there revealed a two-storey citadel covering 33 acres (13.5 hectares). Wikimedia Commons

The Jiroft civilization mysteriously declined around 1700 BC. The reasons for their decline are unknown, but some believe that it may have been due to climate change or conflict with neighboring groups.

Despite their relatively short lifespan, the Jiroft people left a lasting legacy. Their artistic achievements are a testament to their creativity and skill, and their trade network helped to connect the ancient world. The Jiroft civilization is a reminder that there are still many mysteries about the ancient world that we have yet to solve.

After reading about the Jiroft civilization, read about The Rock Wall of Texas: Is it really older than any known human civilization on Earth?