The Iron Age Museum in Tabriz stands out as one of the city’s most unique museums, featuring 38 ancient graves. These graves, dating back to the first millennium BC, reveal burial customs from the Iron Age, making it a must-visit site for all age groups.
The Discovery and Significance of the Iron Age Museum
Unearthed in 1997 near the Blue Mosque of Tabriz, the site revealed collective graves, pottery, and ornaments spanning various historical periods including Qajar, Zand, Safavid, Timurid, and Ilkhanate.
The excavation unearthed numerous artifacts and graves, culminating in the museum’s establishment in 2006.
Unraveling the Mysteries of the Deceased
The burial practices indicate that the inhabitants were followers of Mithraism. The dead were buried with worldly possessions, suggesting beliefs in an afterlife. The objects found alongside the bodies also indicate a class distinction; those with more items in their graves likely belonged to wealthier classes.
Architectural Features of the Museum
The museum’s mound-like structure creates varied levels for the graves, ensuring they are not buried at a uniform depth. Visitors enter through a small door leading to a building with wooden staircases and simple mud walls. Despite its eight-meter depth below street level and high humidity, the museum maintains optimal conditions with fans and air circulation.
Why is it Called a Site Museum?
The term ‘site museum‘ refers to museums naturally situated in archaeological excavation areas, displaying discovered artifacts in their original setting.
Artifacts of the Iron Age Site
Careful analysis of the skeletons reveals their age and gender. The graves of infants are simple and small, while teenagers’ graves are square-shaped. All the details, including estimated age, gender, and accompanying objects, are displayed on the graves. Regular restoration ensures the preservation of these artifacts.
Sections of the Iron Age Museum
The museum comprises two sections connected by wooden bridges. The first section displays individual skeletons and graves, while the second, accessed via a corridor, houses artifacts and objects.
Accessing the Iron Age Museum
The museum is accessible by bus, personal vehicle, and metro. Visitors can approach it from Imam Khomeini Street near the Blue Mosque or from Khaghani Street. The nearest route is through the Kabood Mosque, leading directly to the museum.
Visiting the Iron Age Museum
Open daily except for certain public holidays, the museum can be visited from 9 AM to 3 PM. Admission is charged.
Facilities at the Museum
The museum offers parking, restrooms, a restaurant, and guided tours.
Book Tabriz Hotels
- Blue Mosque: 550 meters
- Azerbaijan Museum: 600 meters
- Tarbiat Pedestrian Bridge: 2 kilometers
- Nobar Bath Museum: 2.2 kilometers
- Qajar Museum: 2.9 kilometers