Paradise lost: Persia from above
In 1976 and 1978, aerial photographer Georg Gerster had the rare opportunity to record the landscape of Iran on over 100 flights and 300 flying hours. This unique photographic project resulted in a near complete documentation of the major archaeological sites and important landscapes in the region. The book includes spectacular images of ancient citadels, desert ruins and rice fields spreading like a vast patchwork in a river delta, along with many unexpected sights, such as the bird's eye view of a crowded ski resort in the Elburz mountains, within easy reach of Tehran. Persia's densely packed cities like Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, are elegantly captured by Gerster and look so very different from Western European or North American cities of the same period.Persia's complex, interlocking flat-roofed buildings are both timeless and timely, with architecture that has stood unchaged for thousands of years, along with brightly-coloured 1970s cars parked in the colonnaded courtyards. Even the Persian landscape contains surprises: on closer inspection, the elaborate patterns made in fields with tractors and ploughs turn out to have more to do with politics than agriculture or land art - a law at the time allowed people to claim unused land by planting crops on it, and this type of 'agridoodle' was apparently enough to support such a claim.Persia is the anchient name of the region we now know as Iran. We still reference the country's long and rich cultural heritage when we speak of Persian carpets and Persian miniatures, of Persian language, history and literature. In her introduction to this book, Iranian-born writer Maryam Sachs lists some words borrowed from Persian by English speakers, which include azure, bazaar, gazelle, magic, musk, tapestry, scarlet, narcissus and paradise. These words offer insight into the country's landscape, inhabitants and traditions - influences that have indirectly shaped its landscape.
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13 June 16 September 21 October Achaemenid Empire agriculture Ahvaz Alborz mountains ancient April architecture Azarbayjan Central Iran Baluchestan The Gulf Band-e Amir Bandar-e Abbas beautiful border built Bushehr capital caravanserai Caspian Sea centre Chogha Zanbil cisterns citadel courtyard Cyrus days are gone desert dome dynasty east Empress Farah Esfahan Fars Khuzestan Kermanshah Ferdowsi fire temple Golestan gone those days Gorgan Gulf Fars Khuzestan Hafez Hamadan Hormoz Island Ilkhanid Imam Iranian irrigation Jamshid Kermanshah Khorasan Kerman Khuzestan King known Kordestan & Lorestan land Lorestan Azarbayjan Central Marv Dasht Maryam Sachs Mashhad mausoleum nomadic northeast of Shiraz palace paradise Pasargadae Persepolis Persian gardens plain Previous pages province qanat Qeshm Island Quchan region river Safavid salt Sassanian September 1977 Shah Abbas Shah Mosque Shahnama Shiraz Sistan & Baluchestan structure Susa Tabriz Takht-e Soleyman Tehran tepe terraced tomb tower town Turkmenistan villages walls Yazd Zagros mountains Zoroastrian