Hawraman: A Testament to Creativity and Resilience

The Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat, located in the Zagros Mountains of Iran, is a testament to the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of the region. This extensive historical-cultural landscape, spanning over 409 thousand hectares, is characterized by its unique tiered architecture and planning. It includes parts of several cities and valleys, including Sarvabad, Sanandaj, and Kamyaran in Kurdistan, and Ravansar, Paveh, Javanroud, and Salas Babajani in Kermanshah. The landscape is divided into two main components: the Central-Eastern Valley in Kurdistan and the Western Valley in Kermanshah Province. The area has a long history of human habitation, dating back to the Paleolithic period, with evidence of Assyrian, Median, Achaemenid, and Greek rule. The region is home to numerous archaeological sites, including the Dārāi Rockshelter, Quri Qaleh, and Sar Cham, which provide valuable insights into the lives of ancient civilizations. The landscape is also dotted with ancient temples, mosques, and tombs, such as the tomb of Pir Shalyiar, which hold significant religious and cultural importance. The unique architecture of the villages in Hawraman is a hallmark of the region. The houses are built on steep slopes, with each house’s roof serving as the yard of the house above it, creating a stepped effect. This innovative design allows for efficient use of space and has been adapted to the harsh mountain environment. The villagers have also developed a sophisticated system of agriculture, using terracing to cultivate crops on steep slopes. The region is also known for its natural beauty, with numerous springs and rivers, including the Bil Spring and the Sirwan River. The area is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including brown bears, Persian leopards, wild goats, and wolves. The rugged terrain and varied ecosystems support a wide variety of wildlife, making it a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The Cultural Landscape of Hawraman/Uramanat was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2021, recognizing its exceptional cultural and natural significance. The site is a testament to the resilience and creativity of the Kurdish people, who have adapted to the challenging environment and developed unique cultural practices and architectural styles. The region’s rich history, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cultural heritage make it an important destination for tourists and a source of national pride for Iran.

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