Contribution to the World *
By: Badi Badiozamani
in this section has been provided to Iran Online by Iranian Cultural Center of
Orange County (ICCOC).
Iran has helped the development of agriculture in two
ways: first by controlling the forces of nature and domesticating animals and
plants existing in the wild state in the plateau, and secondly by inventing ways
and means of procuring water and diverting it to the places where it was needed.
According to Professor Ernest Hertzfeld and Sir Arthur Keith, the Caspians i.e.
the original inhabitants of the plateau of Iran, were the original
agriculturists and that their knowledge of agriculture spread from the Caspian
plateau to the three adjoining alluvial plains which later became the site of
early urban civilizations. This theory was later corroborated by later
excavations in Iran. The oldest human settlement to be identified on the
plain is at Siyalk near the city of Kashan, south of Tehran. Among the
tools used by these early settlers, that were all of stone, one could
distinguish flint knife-blades and sickle-blades. Per Professor Girshman,
stockbreeding and cultivation of land followed, and in the fourth millennium
B.C. man already used the plough and was cultivating wheat and barley. Charred
grains found at the excavated Neolithic village of Geoy Tepe (tappeh) near Lake
Oroomieh in the northwestern part of Iran prove that wheat must have been grown
there more than 5000 years ago.
Grape Vine and Wine - The laboratory analysis of
a 4,500 year old clay pot excavated in the northwestern part of Iran showed that
it was used for storing wine. To date, this is the oldest wine container
The grape-vine, which is indigenous to Iran, was
introduced to China by Can K'ien in 128 B.C. at the time of the Chinese Emperor
Wu (140-87 B.C.). The introduction of the vine from Iran to China is well
attested. The word for wine the Chinese envoy carried with him to his
country was budo, which apparently came from the Persian
Rose- Clement Hurat and Louis Delaporte in their
book "L'Iran Antique" state that the name of rose in Indo-European and
Aramean and Arab languages shows its origin to be Iran because in all these
languages the word for it is derived from Zand "Varedha", the perfect
plant. In Persian "Vard" means the rose. In Syria the rose is
called Vard Juri. The whole district of Jur, or Firoozabad, in the
province of Fars in Iran was noted for its air (scent) of red roses. Fars
included in its Kharaj (to the Caliph of Baghdad) 30,000 bottles of the essence
of rose. Rose was introduced to Spain in the 7th century A.D. hence it was
propagated all over Europe.
Spinach- A. de Candolle believes that it was in
Persia where the spinach was first raised as a vegetable. The Spaniards,
who spread it throughout Europe, received it through Arabs from Iran.
Additional evidence is afforded by the very name of the plant which is of
Persian origin. Its name in Persian is aspanah, aspanag or asfinaj;
Arabic isfenah or isbenah. Hence Medieval Latin Spinachium, Spanish
espinoca, Italian spinaci.... The Chinese name for it means "Persian vegetable".
Early Environmentalists! From ancient
times, Persians have shown great respect for flowers, plants and trees.
From times unknown to present day, Persians have advocated planting trees, and
there is even a special Derakht Kari (tree planting) day when thousands
of trees are plated throughout the country. Another sign of the
significance of trees in Persian culture is evidenced in the ruins of
Persepolis- the 2,500 year old Achaemenid palace- where numerous flowers and
cypress trees are found in the bas-reliefs throughout the palace.
from "Iran & America: Rekindling a Love Lost" by Badi Badiozamani