History of Iran – Dates


 Iran, Before Christ BC


Neolithic Era (8000-4500)

8200 BC: End of the last Ice-Age  

7500 BC: Village of Gandj Dareh (Kordestan)

7th century, BC: feminine or animal shaped clay figures (Zagros)

6500 BC: Village of Tapeh Sarab (Kermanshah)

6500 BC: Ceramics become generalized in the Middle East

5500-5300: Villages of Hasanlu (Azerbaijan)

End of the 6th century BC: Villages in the Susian valley

5th century BC: Settlements of Tapeh Sialk (Isfahan)

5th century BC: Village of Godin Tapeh (Kermanshah)

5th-4th centuries: Bronze Age

4500-3900: Village of Tapeh Yahya (Kerman)

4000 BC: establishment of Suse (level 1)

4th century BC: Thrown and painted ceramics (Tapeh Sialk)

4th century BC: smelted bronze

3900 BC: Tapeh Hissar (Semnan)

3800-3100 BC: Uruk era (level1)

Middle of the 4th century BC: Turang Tapeh (Golestan)

3500 BC: emergence of sculpture (Susian valley)

3300-3000 BC: emergence of the first towns in Elam (Suse) and in Mesopotamia (Uruk)

End of the 4th century: emergence of cuneiform writing in Mesopotamia

End of the 4th century: the seal-cylinder replaces the tablet

End of the 4th century: Shahr-e Sukhteh

3100-2800: Suse, era of the Proto-Elamites (level II)

3rd century BC: more texts emerge: Beginning of recorded history

3rd century BC: Pictographic writing of the Elamites

3rd century BC: mastery of vaulted ceilings in Mesopotamia and in Iran

3rd century BC: domestication of camels

3rd century BC: inter-Iranian exchanges


The Elamites (2500-640 BC)


2400-2100: Elamite dynasty of Awan

2100 BC: Elamite kingdom of King Puzur-Inshushinak

2050-1885: Elamite dynasty of Simashki

2000 BC. 1400-1300 BC: Middle and end of the Bronze Age

During the 2nd century BC: Indo Europeans in Iran

First part of the 2nd century BC:  (?) Elamite relief of Kurangun

2000-1900 BC: Anubanini relief at Sar-e Pol-e Zahab

1970/40 BC: creation of the double Elamite kingdom which united Suse and Anshan

1930-1500 BC: Elamite dynasty of Sukkalmah

17th century: disappearance of “trans-Elamite” civilizations

1455-1405 BC: Elamite dynasty of the Kidinuides

1405-1215 BC: Elamite dynasty of the Igihalkids

14th century: creation of the Marlik civilization

14th-6th centuries: Iron Age

1345-1305 BC: Reign of the Elamite king Untash-Napirisha

2nd half of the 14th century: town and ziggurat of Chogha Zanbil

13th century: Elamite rock reliefs of Izeh / Malamir

1200-1100 BC: Elamite dynasty of Shutrukid

1100 BC: interruption of the Elam era for several centuries

Beginning of the 1st millennium BC: Indo-Europeans in Iran

9th century BC: Creation of the kingdom of Urartu (Western Iran)

8th century BC: Tapeh Nush-e Djan : Mede citadel and fire temple

9th century BC: First mention of the Medes

8th century BC: Establishment of Ecbatana (Hamadan), capital of the Medes

728-675: Median king, Deioces


The Medes ( 7th – 6th centuries BC)

7th century BC: the Scythians who had conquered Media are ejected by the Medes

7th century BC: Bastam, Urartan town

7th century BC: treasure of Ziwiyeh

675-653 BC: Phraotès, Median king

653-585 BC:  Cyaxare, Median king

612 BC: The Medes destroy the Neo-Assyrian Empire

6th century BC: (or before): Zarathushtra, Prophet of Mazdeism


The Achaemenes (559 – 330 BC)

559-530 BC: Reign of Cyrus the Great

539 BC: Cyrus II conquers Babylon

521 –486 BC: Reign of Darius I

6th-4th centuries BC: Treasure of Oxus (Tajikistan)

6th century BC: Palace and tomb of Cyrus II in Pasargades

End of the 6th century BC: establishment of Persepolis by Darius I

End of the 6th century BC: palace of Darius I in Suse

End of the 6th century BC: bas-reliefs of Bisutun (Darius I)

6th-5th centuries BC: Town of Dahaneh Golaman (Sistan)

5th century BC (?): Pazyryk tapestry with Iranian motifs (Siberia)

5th century BC: Toms of Naqsh-e Rostam

5th century BC: Hamadan treasure

5th century BC: Gandj Nameh inscription

5th century BC (?): Tomb of Esther of Hamadan

5th century BC: intermittent revolts of the Satraps

490-478 BC: Median wars

485-465 BC: reign of king Xerxes I

465-424 BC: reign of king Artaxerxes I


Alexander the Great (330-323 BC) and the Seleucids (312-64 BC)

334-330 BC: Alexander the Great seizes the Achaemenes Empire; Darius III is assassinated in 330 BC

323 BC: death of Alexander in Babylon

323-281 BC: war of the Diodics, Alexander’s generals

312-281 BC: reign of Seleucos I


The Arsacid Parthians (247 BC – 224 AD)

From the 3rd century BC: Hellenistic culture in Persia

3rd century BC: Arsace I, founder of the Arsacid Parthians

End of the 3rd century BC: Hecatompylos, Parthian capital

2nd century BC: Parthian structure of Khorheh

2nd century BC: Nysa, Parthian capital (Turkmenistan)

2nd century BC: (?) foundation of Kuh-e Khwajeh

2nd century BC: establishment of the Elamite kingdom

171-138 BC: reign of Mithridat II

141 BC: The Parthians take Babylon from the Selucids

123-88 BC: reign of Mithridat II

2nd-1st centuries BC: “Alexander’s wall”, plains of Gorgan

Towards 110 BC: Mithridat II invades Armenia

End of the 2nd century BC – beginning of the 1st century BC: Birth of the Silk Road

1st century BC (?): bronze statue of Shami

53 BC: Crassus beaten at Carrhae by the Parthians


After Jesus Christ AD

Around the year 0: “The Three Wise Men” come to visit Jesus Christ

2nd half of the 1st century AD: conversion of the Persian to Christianity by Saint Thomas (?)

51-78 AD: reign of Vologèse I, king of Armenia

66 AD: Tiridat I, brother of Vologèse, King of Armenia

From the 1st century AD: “anti-Hellenism” and Iranization of Parthian culture

1st century AD: development of the iwan in Parthian architecture

1st-2nd centuries AD: Elymian tombs of Gelâlak

1st-2nd centuries AD: rock reliefs of Elymais

2nd century AD:  Roman offensive threatens The Parthians in Mesopotamia


The Sassanids (224-651 AD)


224 AD: Ardashir I (224-241) defeats the last Parthian king

From 237 AD: wars between the Sassanids and Rome

241-272 AD: reign of Shapur I

3rd century AD: palace and town of Firuzabad, fortress of Qal’eh-ye Doktar

3rd century AD:  town, palace, temple and bas-reliefs of Bishapur

3rd century AD: bas-reliefs of Naqsh-e Rostam and Naqsh-e Radjab

3rd century AD: establishment of the town of Gondisapur

3rd century AD:  bridge-dams of Shustar

3rd century AD: statue of Shapur I, Mudan caves

3rd century AD: silk weaving in Iran

2nd half of the 3rd century AD:  Kartir, great Zoroastrian priest

2nd half of the 3rd century AD:  Mazdeism begins to be the “religion of the empire”

287 AD: peace treaty between Persia and Rome

4th century AD: (?) beginning of sericulture in Iran (silk)

4th century AD: bas-reliefs of Taq-e Bostan

4th century AD: establishment of the town of Iwan-e Karkheh

309-379 AD: reign of Shapur II

363 AD: Shapur II defeats the emperor, Julian the Apostate

384 AD: division of Armenia between Rome and Persia

5th century AD: (?) palace of Sarvestan

5th century AD: fire temples (chahâr tâq) on the Farashband plains

5th or 6th century AD: Takht-e Suleyman structures

421-439 AD: reign of Bahram V

448 AD: war between the Sassanids and the Hephtalites

484 AD: the Sassanids offer a tribute to the Hephtalites

3rd century AD: Mazdak disseminates his revolutionary doctrine

6th century AD: (?)  Palace of Ctesiphon (Irak)

6th century AD: (?)  The “Spring of Khosrow “carpet

528-529 AD: death of Mazdak and end of his rebellion

531-579 AD: reign of Khosrow I

Towards 560 AD: Khosrow I defeats the Hephtalites

591-628 AD: reign of Khosrow II

6th century AD: Barbad, musician to Khosrow II

6th-7th centuries AD: bas-reliefs of Taq-e Bostan

603 AD: Khosrow II attacks the Byzantine Empire

634-651 AD: the Arabs conquer Persia: beginning of Islamization of the population and the culture


The Umayyads (661-750 AD)


660-680 AD: Mu’awiya, 1st Umayyad Calif in Damas

680 AD: the Imam Hosseyn martyred in Karbala

End of the 7th century AD: Sassanid influence on Islamic art

8th century AD: emergence of Kufic writing

From the 8th century AD: Arab translations of scientific texts of Ancient Greece

706 -715 AD: Arab mosque of the Umayyads in Damas (Syria)

Around 750 AD (?): Arab-type mosque of Damghan

747 AD: Abu Muslim rebels against the Umayyads in the name of the Abbasids in the Khorasan


The Abbasids (750-1258 AD)


762 AD: establishment of Bagdad

8th century AD: Jabir ibn Hayyan, alchemist

818 AD: death of the 8th Imam Reza in Mashhad

819-1005 AD: dynasty of the Samanids in central Asia (Bukhara)

832 AD: “House of Wisdom” Bagdad (Irak)

857-922 AD: Hallaj, Sufi

870-950 AD: Al-Farabi, philosopher

874 AD: death of the 7th Shi’ite Imam

9th century AD: Manichaean manuscripts found in Chinese Turkistan

9th century AD: founding of the tombs of the 8th Imam in Mashhad and of his sister in Qom

10th century AD: mausoleum of the Samanids in Bukhara (Uzbekistan); development of mausoleums

10th century AD:  development of Naskh writing

932-1055 AD: Shi’ite dynasty of Buyid in Iran and Irak

Around 940 AD 1019/1025 AD: Ferdowsi and the Book of Kings

973 – after 1050 AD: Biruni, scholar

977-1186 AD: Turkish dynasty of the Ghaznavids of the Khorosan, Afghanistan and Northern India

980-1037 AD: Ibn Sina, (Avicenna) doctor and philosopher

997-1030 AD: reign of Mahmud of Ghazna


The Seljuks (1038 -1194 AD)


1004-1075 AD: Nasir-e Khosrow, philosopher and poet

From 1048 /1123 AD: Omar Khayyam, scholar and poet

1038-1063 AD: reign of Tughril I

1058-1111 AD: al-Ghazali, theologian and Sufi

1072-1092 AD: reign of Malik Shah

1074 AD: reform of the Persian calendar by Omar Khayyam

1090 AD: the Ismailis of Alamut

11th century AD: apparition of turquoise ceramic in architectural decoration

11th century AD: propagation of Madrasas

11th century AD: development of mystic poetry

Between the 11th and the 13th centuries AD: apparition of the Persian mosques (Savarin, Ardestan, and Isfahan)

1118-1157 AD: reign of the Sultan Sanjar

1141-1209 AD (?): Nezami, poetd

1155-1191 AD: Sohravardi, “Philosopher of Enlightenment”

1157 AD: death of the Sultan Sandjar:  the empire of the great Seljuk’s unravels

1167-1227 AD: Genghis Khan

1172.1199 AD: Shahs of Khwarazm in the Khorosan and in Isfahan


The Mongols and the Ilkhanids (1215-1353 AD)


1201-1274 AD: Nasir al-Din Tusi, astronomer

1203-1283 AD: al-Qazvini, encyclopedist

1207-1273 AD: Rumi (Muwlana) Sufi poet and the originator of the ‘Turning Dervishes’

1213 (?) -1292 AD: Sa’di, Sufi and poet

1219-1220 AD: the Mongols in Transoxian and in the Khwarazm

1247-1318 AD: Rashid al-Din, historian

1258 AD: Hulagu pillages Bagdad; endo of the Abbasid Califs

1271-1295 AD: voyage of Marco Polo

Around 1300 AD: establishment of the Safavid Sufi order

13th-14th centuries AD: Abu al Qasem, ceramist

14th century AD:  Mir Ali of Tabriz, calligrapher and creator of Nastaliq writing

1304-1316 AD: reign of the Ilkhan Uljaytu

1307-1313 AD: mausoleum of Soltaniyeh

1310 AD: the Ilkhan Ghazan converts to Islam

1314-1393 AD: Mozaffarids in the Kerman the Fars

Around 1315/25. 1390 AD: Hafez of Shiraz, poet

1392/31 – 1430-31 AD: Ni’mat Allah Vali, mystic


Tamerlane and the Timurids (1370-1506 AD)


1336-1405 AD: Tamerlane (Timur Lang)

From 1370 AD: great conquests of Tamerlane (central Asia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Russia, India, and Anatolia)

1380-1468 AD: the “Black Sheep “Turcomans (Qara Qoyyunlu) in western Iran, Irak and eastern Anatolia

14th century AD: blossoming of Persia book painting

End of the 14th, beginning of the 15th century AD: Persia style structures in Samarkand (Uzbekistan)

15th century AD: Chinese motifs decorative arts

15th century AD: development of ceramic architectural decors

15th-16th century AD:  “blue & white” ceramics

1405-1447 AD: reign of Timurid Shahrukh in Khorasan and Sistan

1414-1492 AD: Djami, Sufi and poet

1430 AD: Tabriz, capital of the “Black Sheep “Turks (Qara Qoyyunlu)

1445 AD: Madrasa of Khargard

1453-1502 AD: the “White Sheep” Turcomans Qoyyunlu) in western Persia

1465 AD: the Blue Mosque in Tabriz

1465-1535 AD: Behzad, painter

1468 AD: the Aq Ooyyunlus overturn the Qara Qoyyunlus

1470-1506 AD: Hussein Bayqara reigns in eastern Persia

1500 -1506 AD: the Sheybanides overturn the Timurids in Transoxian


The Safavids (1501-1732 AD)


1501 AD: Shi’itism becomes the religion of Persia

1501-1524 AD: reign of Shah Ismali I

Beginning of the 16th century AD: introduction of firearms

From 1514 AD: war with the Ottomans

1524-1576 AD: reign of Shah Tahmasp I

1515-1576 AD: Book of the Kings, Shah Tahmasp I, illustrated manuscript

? 1587/8 AD: Mohtasham Kashani, poet

? 1631 AD: Mir Damad, philosopher

1554-1615 AD: Mir Emad, calligrapher

1558-1628 AD: Ali Reza Abbasi, calligrapher

1565-1635 AD: Reza Abbasi, painter

1572-1640 AD: Molla Sadra, philosopher

1587-1629 AD: reign of Shah Abbas I

1598 AD: Isfahan becomes the capital

1598-1623 AD: great Safavid conquests

16th century AD: blossoming of floral carpet designs

17th century AD: palaces, mosques, bridges and churches in Isfahan

17th century AD: European travelers in Persia

1639 AD: peace treaty with the Ottomans

1642-1666 AD: reign of Shah Abbas II

1675 AD: defeat of the Turcomans by the Persians


The Afghans (1722-1729 AD), Nadar Shah (1736-1747 AD) and the Zands (1750-1794 AD)


1722 AD: the Afghans take Isfahan

1739 AD: Nadar Shah pillages Delhi

1748-1798 AD: Nur Ali Shah, Sufi

1750-1779 AD: Karim Khan Zand reigns over central and southern Persia and establishes Shiraz


The Qajars (1779-1925 AD)


1779-1797 AD: reign of Muhammad Qajar

1786 AD: Tehran becomes the capital

1797-1834 AD: reign of Fath Ali Shah

1797-1878/81 AD: Hadi Sabzavari, philosopher

18th century AD: the Ta’ziyeh becomes a sacred theatre

18th century AD: Neo-classical poets

19th century AD: emergence of secular schools

19th century AD: Golestan Palace in Tehran

19th century AD: first Persian translations of English and French literature

1813 and 1828 AD: Iran must yield its Caucasus provinces to Russia

1814-1866 AD: Sani al-Molk, painter

1849-1940 AD: Kamal ol- Molk, painter

1848-1896 AD: reign of Naser od-Din Shah

Middle of the 19th century AD: introduction of western polyphonous music

Second half of the 19th century AD: first archeological digs in Iran

1857 AD: Persia recognizes Afghan independence

1860 AD: first telephone line

1868 AD: Dowlat Tekiyeh in Tehran

1890 AD: rebellion against the British tobacco monopoly

1894-1968 AD: Hussein Behzad, painter

1896-1907 AD: reign of Mozaffar od-Din Shah

1897-1960 AD: Nima Yushidj, poet

End of the 19th century AD: creation of printing works

End of the 19th century AD: birth of journalism

Beginning of the 20th century: blossoming of the theatre, novels and the news

1903-1951: Sadeq Hedayat, writer

1905: first cinema in Tehran

1906-1941: Parvin E’tesami, poetess

1906-1989: Shahryar, poet

1906: first parliament

1907: Russian and British influence in Iran

1908: discovery of oil

1911: creation of the National theatre

1914-1918: first World War: Iran is neutral

1918: the British and the Russians occupy Iran

1920: establishment of the Communist party in Iran (Tudeh)


The Pahlavi dynasty (1925-1979)


1925-2000: Ahmad Shamlu, poet

1928-1980: Sohrab Sepehri, poet

1905: first cinema in Tehran

1927-1938: construction of the trains’ Iranian railway

The 1930’s: modernization of Tehran

From 1934: industrialization of Iran

1933: The daughter of Lor, first Iranian-speaking film

1934: Symphony Orchestra of Iran

1937: National Museum of Iran, Tehran

1935: Persia becomes Iran to the western world

1935: establishment of the University of Tehran

1935-1967: Foruq Farrokhzad, poetess

1939-1945: Second World War: Iran remains neutral

1940: radio station of Tehran

1940:  Abbas Kiarostami, cinematographer

1940: Mahmud Dowlatabadi, writer

1940: Mohammad-Reza Shadjarian, singer

1941: the Russians and British invade Iran

1941: Reza Shah abdicates in favor of his son Mohammad-Reza

1942: tripartite treaty between Iran, England and the USSR

1949: Dr. Mosaddeq creates the National Front

1951: Nationalization of oil by Dr. Mosaddeq

1953: Coup d’Etat to overthrow Dr. Mosaddeq

1957: Mohsen Makhmalbaf, cinematographer

1958-1968: Grand Palace of Niavaran

From the 1960’s: construction of housing, breaking with traditional architecture

The 1960’s: gradual demolition of Qajar urbanism in Tehran

1962:  amendments to the “White revolution”

1964: Khomeini is expelled from Iran

1967: the Shah M.R. Pahlavi is crowned

The 1970’s: blossoming of avant-garde cinema

1971: Azadi tower (Shahyad) in Tehran

1973: reunion of the O.P.E.P in Tehran

1975: agreements from Algiers against Iran and Irak

1978: rebellion against the Shah


The Islamic Republic (1979-….)


1979: Islamic republic is proclaimed

1979-1980: hostages taken from the American Embassy

1980: the last Shah dies in Cairo

End of the 1980’s: humanist cinema

1989: death of Khomeini; succeeded by Ali Khamenei

1989 and 1993: elections of President Rafsanjani

1997-2008: Bordj-e Milad, Tehran

1997 and 2001: elections of the reformist President Khatami

2005-2009: election of conservative President Ahmadinejad

2013: election of President Rohani; hope of easing tensions with the USA




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