Kharg Island

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Kharg Island
Native name:
جزیره خارگ
Coordinates 29°14′08″N50°18′36″E / 29.235481°N 50.31°E / 29.235481; 50.31 Coordinates: 29°14′08″N50°18′36″E / 29.235481°N 50.31°E / 29.235481; 50.31

Kharg Island (Persian : جزیره خارگ) is a continental island in the Persian Gulf belonging to Iran. The island is located 25 km (16 mi) off the coast of Iran and 483 km (300 mi) northwest of the Strait of Hormuz. Administered by the adjacent coastal Bushehr Province, Kharg Island provides a sea port for the export of oil and extends Iranian territorial sea claims into the Persian Gulf oil fields. Located on Kharg Island is Kharg, the only city in the Kharg District.

Island Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Persian Gulf An arm of the Indian Ocean in western Asia

The Persian Gulf is a mediterranean sea in Western Asia. The body of water is an extension of the Indian Ocean through the Strait of Hormuz and lies between Iran to the northeast and the Arabian Peninsula to the southwest. The Shatt al-Arab river delta forms the northwest shoreline.



As of 2012
, the Kharg oil terminal handles about 98% of Iran's crude exports. Kharg oil loading terminal.jpg
As of 2012, the Kharg oil terminal handles about 98% of Iran's crude exports.

Mentioned in the Hudud al-'alam as a good source for pearls around 982 AD, Kharg was visited by Jean de Thévenot in 1665, who recorded trade at the time with Isfahan and Basra. [2] In 1753 the Dutch Empire established both a trading post and a fort on the island after securing perpetual ownership of the island from Mir Nasáir, the Arab ruler of Bandar Rig, in return for a present of 2000 rupees. [3] In 1766 the Dutch fort was captured by Mir Mahanna, the governor of Bandar Rig. [4]

Jean de Thévenot French explorer

Jean de Thévenot was a French traveller in the East, who wrote extensively about his journeys. He was also a linguist, natural scientist and botanist.

Isfahan City in Iran

Isfahan is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres south of Tehran, and is the capital of Isfahan Province.

Basra City in Basra Governorate, Iraq

Basra is an Iraqi city located on the Shatt al-Arab between Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of 2.5 million in 2012. Basra is also Iraq's main port, although it does not have deep water access, which is handled at the port of Umm Qasr.

The island was briefly occupied in 1838 by the British to block the Siege of Herat (1838) but was soon returned. Amoco built and operated the oil terminal on the island. Its property was expropriated after the revolution.

Kharg beach in 1970 NIOC Kharg beach.jpg
Kharg beach in 1970

Once the world's largest offshore crude oil terminal and the principal sea terminal for Iranian oil, the Kharg Island facilities were put out of commission in the fall of 1986. Heavy bombing of the Kharg Island facilities from 1980 through 1988 by the Iraqi Air Force during the Iran–Iraq War all but destroyed most of the terminal facilities. Kharg Island was situated in the middle of the Darius Oilfield, also destroyed by the intensive bombing. Repair to all facilities has been very slow, even after the war ended in 1988. The events experienced by this island gave rise to the dispute in the English contract law case The Kanchenjunga [1990] 1 Lloyd's Rep 391, regarding the conditions for repudiatory breach of contract and a claimant's right to elect to accept repudiation.

Iraqi Air Force Aerial warfare branch of Iraqs armed forces

The Iraqi Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces, responsible for the policing of international borders and surveillance of national assets. The IQAF also acts as a support force for the Iraqi Navy and the Iraqi Army and it allows Iraq to rapidly deploy its developing Army.

Iran–Iraq War 1980–1988 war between Iran and Iraq

The Iran–Iraq War was an armed conflict between Iran and Iraq, beginning on 22 September 1980, when Iraq invaded Iran, and ending on 20 August 1988, when Iran accepted the UN-brokered ceasefire. Iraq wanted to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state, and was worried that the 1979 Iranian Revolution would lead Iraq's Shi'ite majority to rebel against the Ba'athist government. The war also followed a long history of border disputes, and Iraq planned to annex the oil-rich Khuzestan Province and the east bank of the Arvand Rud.

In 2009, Iran exported and swapped 950 million barrels of crude oil via southern Kharg oil terminal. [5]


Kharg Island
Iran location map.svg
Archaeological site icon (red).svg
Shown within Iran
Location25 km (16 mi) off the coast of Iran
Coordinates 29°14′08″N50°18′36″E / 29.235481°N 50.31°E / 29.235481; 50.31
Periods Selucid, Parthian, Nabataean
Site notes
ArchaeologistsF. Sarre, E. Herzfeld, Marie-Joseph Steve
Public accessYes
Jazireh-ye Khark Lighthouse
LocationKharg Island
Coordinates 29°12′50.5″N50°19′09.6″E / 29.214028°N 50.319333°E / 29.214028; 50.319333
Foundationconcrete base
Constructionaluminium skeletal tower
Tower shapesquare pyramidal tower with central cylinder and lantern
Tower height14 metres (46 ft)
Focal height90 metres (300 ft)
Range17 nautical miles (31 km; 20 mi)
Characteristic Fl (2) W 12s.
Admiralty numberD7664.4
NGA number28916
ARLHS numberIRA-002 [6] [7]

The first archaeological evidence of human occupation on Kharg island was reported by Captain A. W. Stiffe in 1898, with studies published about his discoveries by F. Sarre and E. Herzfeld in 1910. They discovered two rock-cut chambered tombs featuring arched entranceways to a main chamber with vestibule from which spawned around twenty smaller chambers. The southern tomb is 13 metres (43 ft) deep and features a relief of a reclining man drinking in the Selucid and Parthian styles of Palmyra along with a damaged relief suggested to feature Nike on the face of a sphere-topped column. Mary-Joseph Steve has argued that the architecture of the tombs is more reminiscent of Nabataean architecture at Petra than anything Palmyrene. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

An entryway is a hall that is generally located at the front entrance of a house. An entryway often has a coat closet, and usually has linoleum or tile flooring rather than carpet, making it an easy-to-clean transition space between the outdoor and indoor areas. Many houses do not have an entryway; in these the front door leads to a foyer, or directly into the living room or some other room in the house.

Parthian Empire Iranian empire ruled by Arsacids

The Parthian Empire, also known as the Arsacid Empire, was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Iran. Its latter name comes from Arsaces I of Parthia who, as leader of the Parni tribe, founded it in the mid-3rd century BC when he conquered the region of Parthia in Iran's northeast, then a satrapy (province) under Andragoras, in rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. Mithridates I of Parthia (r. c. 171–138 BC) greatly expanded the empire by seizing Media and Mesopotamia from the Seleucids. At its height, the Parthian Empire stretched from the northern reaches of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran. The empire, located on the Silk Road trade route between the Roman Empire in the Mediterranean Basin and the Han dynasty of China, became a center of trade and commerce.

Palmyra Ancient city in Homs Governorate, Syria

Palmyra is an ancient Semitic city in present-day Homs Governorate, Syria. Archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic period, and documents first mention the city in the early second millennium BC. Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD.

Another Eighty three rock cut tombs and sixty two megalithic tombs have been studied on Kharg. The rock-cut tombs fall into four categories; single chambered, shallow tombs of varying shape, pit burials and excavated multi-chambered complexes. Steve also noticed the presence of several Nestorian style crosses at some of the tombs. [10]

There are also ruins of a coarse stone temple on the island measuring around 7.5 metres (25 ft) square with a plastered altar for fire in the centre. [10]

A Christian church complex or ancient monastery of some 96 metres (315 ft) by 85 metres (279 ft) is also located on the island featuring a chapel, nineteen monks cells, library and courtyard. [2]

Achaemenid inscription

On November 14, 2007, a cuneiform inscription dating back to Achaemenid era was discovered on Kharg Island in Old Persian. The inscription is carved on a coral rock in Old Persian semi-syllabic cuneiform signs. Despite the usually well-ordered regular system of Achaemenid inscriptions, this one is in an unusual order written in five lines. [13]

The not irrigated land was (became) happy
(with) my bringing out (water) Bahana wells [13]

On May 31, 2008, the inscription was seriously damaged by unknown vandal(s). They destroyed it with a sharp object, such that about 70 percent of the inscription was seriously damaged. The nature of the damage indicates that it was done deliberately. [14]

Jean de Thévenot noted the presences of qanats on the island that would have provided ancient irrigation. [2]

The island appears with a SAM radar installation on it in the Sega Genesis flight simulator F-15 Strike Eagle II in the Persian Gulf mission map.

The island is featured as a playable map in DICE's Battlefield 3 video game, [15] having some resemblance to the real island.

It also appears in Delta Force: Black Hawk Down – Team Sabre .

See also

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Bushehr Province Province in Region 2, Iran

Bushehr Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south of the country, with a long coastline onto the Persian Gulf. Its center is Bushehr, the provincial capital. The province has ten counties: Asaluyeh, Bushehr, Dashtestan, Dashti, Deyr, Deylam, Jam, Kangan, Ganaveh and Tangestan. In 2011, the province had a population of approximately 1 million people.

Hormozgan Province Province in Region 2, Iran

Hormozgan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south of the country, in Iran's Region 2, facing Oman and UAE. Its area is 70,697 km2 (27,296 sq mi), and its provincial capital is Bandar Abbas. The province has fourteen islands in the Persian Gulf and 1,000 km (620 mi) of coastline.

Kermanshah Province Province in 4th Region, Iran

Kermanshah Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. The province was known from 1969 to 1986 as Kermanshahan and from 1986 to 1995 as Bakhtaran. According to a 2014 segmentation by the Ministry of Interior it is center of Region 4, with the region's central secretariat located at the province's capital city, Kermanshah. A majority of people in Kermanshah Province are Shia, and there are Sunni and Yarsanist minority groups.

Pasargadae human settlement

Pasargadae was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great, who ordered its construction. It is located near the city of Shiraz, in Iran. Today it is an archaeological site and one of Iran's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. A limestone tomb there is believed to be that of Cyrus the Great.

Ravansar City in Kermanshah, Iran

Ravansar is a city and capital of Ravansar County, Kermanshah Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 16,383, in 3,838 families.

Naqsh-e Rostam necropolis in Iran

Naqsh-e Rostam is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, Iran, with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods. It lies a few hundred meters from Naqsh-e Rajab, with a further four Sassanid rock reliefs, three celebrating kings and one a high priest.

Kermanshah City in Iran

Kermanshah, the capital of Kermanshah Province, is located 525 kilometres from Tehran in the western part of Iran. According to the 2011 census, its population is 851,405. A majority of the population speaks Southern Kurdish. Kermanshah has a moderate and mountainous climate. Kermanshah is the largest Kurdish-speaking city in Iran. Most of the inhabitants of Kermanshah are Shia Muslims, but there are minorities such as Sunni Muslims, Yarsanism and so on.

Lavan Island island in Iran

Lavan Island (Persian: جزیرهٔ لاوان‎) (traditionally known as hidden pearl island or Sheikh Shoeyb island ) is an Iranian island in the Persian Gulf. It has an area of 78 square kilometres (30 sq mi). The island has one of the four major terminals for export of crude oil in Iran alongside Kharg island. Lavan island sits on top of Lavan gas field, containing 9.5 trillion cubic feet (2.7×1011 cubic metres) of gas. Administratively, the island forms part of the Lavan Rural District in Kish District, Bandar Lengeh County, Hormozgan Province. The island is served by Lavan Airport.

History of the Iranian Navy

The Iranian Navy, traditionally located in the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf, has always been the smallest of the country's military forces. An Iranian navy in one form or another has existed since Achaemenid times in 500 BC. The Phoenician navy played an important role in the military efforts of the Persians in late antiquity in protecting and expanding trade routes along the persian gulf and Indian Ocean. With the Pahlavi dynasty in the 20th century that Iran began to consider building a strong navy to project its strength into the persian gulf and Indian Ocean. In more recent years, the country has engaged in domestic ship building industries in response to the western-backed Iraqi invasion of Iran, which left it without suppliers during an invasion.

Old Persian cuneiform semi-alphabetic cuneiform script

Old Persian cuneiform is a semi-alphabetic cuneiform script that was the primary script for Old Persian. Texts written in this cuneiform have been found in Iran, Armenia, Romania (Gherla), Turkey, and along the Suez Canal. They were mostly inscriptions from the time period of Darius I, such as the DNa inscription, as well as his son, Xerxes I. Later kings down to Artaxerxes III used more recent forms of the language classified as "pre-Middle Persian".

Persepolis Administrative Archives

The Persepolis Fortification Archive and Persepolis Treasury Archive are two groups of clay administrative archives — sets of records physically stored together – found in Persepolis dating to the Achaemenid Persian Empire. The discovery was made during legal excavations conducted by the archaeologists from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in the 1930s. Hence they are named for their in situ findspot: Persepolis. The archaeological excavations at Persepolis for the Oriental Institute were initially directed by Ernst Herzfeld from 1931 to 1934 and carried on from 1934 until 1939 by Erich Schmidt.

Achaemenid architecture Historical architecture style

Achaemenid architecture (Persian: includes all architectural achievements of the Achaemenid Persians manifesting in construction of spectacular cities used for governance and inhabitation, temples made for worship and social gatherings, and mausoleums erected in honor of fallen kings. The quintessential feature of Persian architecture was its eclectic nature with elements of Assyrian, Egyptian, Median and Asiatic Greek all incorporated, yet producing a unique Persian identity seen in the finished product. Achaemenid architecture is academically classified under Persian architecture in terms of its style and design.

Kharg, Iran City in Bushehr, Iran

Kharg is a city in and capital of Kharg District, in Bushehr County, Bushehr Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 8,196, in 1,963 families. Kharg is located on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf.

Tomb of Darius the Great Place

The tomb of Darius the Great is one of the four tombs of Achaemenid kings at the historical site of Naqsh-e Rustam located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, Iran. They are all at a considerable height above the ground.

Shahrokh Razmjou archaeologist

Shahrokh Razmjou is an Iranian archaeologist and historian, specializing in Achaemenid Archaeology and History. He received his Ph.D in Achaemenid Archaeology at the University of London. He established the Inscriptions Hall (1998-9) and the Centre for Achaemenid Studies (2001) at the National Museum of Iran. He was curator of Ancient Iran in the Department of the Middle East, British Museum (2009-2012) and during this time, he produced a new updated translation of the text on the Cyrus Cylinder from Babylonian to Persian. He also excavated the ancient man-made caves of Niyasar, Kashan. He is currently teaching at the Department of Archaeology, University of Tehran.

Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley Military conquest

The Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley refers to the Achaemenid military conquest and occupation of the territories of the North-western regions of the Indian subcontinent, from the 6th to 4th centuries BC. The conquest of the areas as far as the Indus river is often dated to the time of Cyrus the Great, in the period between 550-539 BCE. The first secure epigraphic evidence, given by the Behistun Inscription inscription, gives a date before or about 518 BCE. Achaemenid penetration into the area of the Indian subcontinent occurred in stages, starting from northern parts of the River Indus and moving southward. These areas of the Indus valley became formal Achaemenid satrapies as mentioned in several Achaemenid inscriptions. The Achaemenid occupation of the Indus Valley ended with the Indian campaign of Alexander the Great circa 323 BCE. The Achaemenid occupation, although less successful than that of the later Greeks, Sakas or Kushans, had the effect of acquainting India to the outer world.

Hamadan City in Iran

Hamadān or Hamedān is the capital city of Hamadan Province of Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 473,149, in 127,812 families.

The achaemenid inscription in the Kharg Island is an important inscription from the Achaemenid Empire that was discovered in 2007 while constructing a road. It is located on Kharg Island, Iran. This inscription is written in Old Persian language with Old Persian cuneiform alphabet. The height and the width of this inscription is around one meter. The inscription was etched around 400 BC. The inscription contains five lines and six Old Persian words, five of which were unknown at the time it was discovered. It reads as "[This] land was wilderness and without water [and] I brought happiness and welfare to it". Some Arab states of the Persian Gulf have unsuccessfully tried to show that the inscription is forged. In 2008, the inscription was severely vandalized by some anonymous men and now 70 percent of the text is destroyed and only one line is survived. Kharg island is an important island belonging to Iran and a license is needed for travel to the island. The Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran said that "This inscription is an evidence to the name of Persian gulf".

Anubanini rock relief Rock relief from the Isin-Larsa period

The Anubanini petroglyph, also called Sar-e Pol-e Zohab II or Sarpol-i Zohab relief, is a rock relief from the Isin-Larsa period and is located in Kermanshah Province, Iran. The rock relief is believed to belong to the Lullubi culture and is located 120 kilometers away from the north of Kermanshah, close to Sarpol-e Zahab. Lullubi reliefs are the earliest rock reliefs of Iran, later ones being the Elamite reliefs of Eshkaft-e Salman and Kul-e Farah.


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