National Museum of Iran, like most world class museums, has a department specifically dedicated to conserving and preserving invaluable Iranian coins and seals; and regarding the unique role played by these artifacts in historic studies of every country’s civilization, this department is of prime importance. Most artifacts preserved here were discovered in archaeological excavations, in addition to some confiscated, donated objects or accidental findings. In ancient times, before invention and circulation of coins, people traded their goods and secured their needs using barter system, using quadrupeds as exchange unit. In some ancient paintings and reliefs barter scenes are depicted. After discovery of metals man further developed his civilization and used objects made of copper, bronze, gold and silver in the form of rings, bars, square or round pieces, or as knife and axe as means of barter trading.
National Museum of Iran, like other museums, has got a separate section for keeping valuable coins and seals, which is of great importance due to the roles of coin and seal in the historic study of any civilization. In the mentioned section, the existing collections of remains are findings, obtained from archeological drillings or recovered properties, dedication and occasional discoveries. In the ancient times before using coin, the trade was done through exchanging goods backed by beasts which are shown on the old paintings and curvings. By discovering metal and the evolution of human beings, the things in various shapes like ring, rod, limited parts or squares and or an axe and knife were made of capper, bronze, gold and silver, which were used as an exchange. For instance, in China, metal knife or thin rod or ring which some were discovered through Domorgan searches in Armenia in 1889, were used for trading. During the Mohenjo-Daro research done in Pakistan, it was discovered capper rods belong to 3000 B.C, which are considered the oldest exchanges before inventing coin. In drillings done in Susa, it was also found silver rings and rods belong to 2000 B.C. In the remainings of Assyria cities, it was discovered gold bullions and silver bars belong to 1200-2500 B.C., on which there are symblos indicating the first step of human beings for inventing coin. There are various historical narrations about inventing coin. According to Herdoot, the Greek Historian, The Lydians were the first tribe who invented coin. Due to particular geographical status and their famous, particularly the existing of scraps of gold in the sands of Puctol river which was passed through Sard, Capital of Lydia, as well as led the people to trade, in particular, inventing coin. Therefore, the new situation was innovated in the economic and trade of that era. The oldest Lydian coins were irregular thick pieces, a mixture of silver and gold (Electrum) on which one side of have been curved parallel furrows and the other side several cavities, some having images like fox since they worshiped fox. In the Crozos era, King of Lydia, the coins called Crozoid were minted which can be considered as the first real coin (546-561 H.). They were made of gold and silver, one side of the coins depicting the fight of a bull and lion and the other side several curved squares. Then in the Egine,, a Greek Island beside Ajeh Sea, whrere is well-known for curving teaching, coins were minted depicting Sea Turtle which was the image of Arthemis , the Greek goddess of thought, and was minted in mint house establishe in Egin city. Then in the various coastal cities of Ajeh Sea such as Milet and Ephose , the coins were minted imaging the animals like lion, bull, moose, sea pig each depicting a city or local gods and artificially they were of valuable. The precious specimens have been found in Takh-e-Jamshid . Greek and Asia Minor coins which were under Iranian power are mostly bearing the image of myth gods as well as depicting the ancient religions.
For instance, on the Egin coins the image of turtle depicts Arthemis, the daughter of Jupiter, as well as the other Athens coins bearing on one side the image of Athena, Greece goddess of thought and daughter of Zeus and on the other side an owl depicting her. Evuni coins were impressed by Eastern Gods on which the pictures of winged animals like Sphinx (indicating Egypt religion) and winged buff are appeared. On Phoenicia coins the image of Dagoon goddess, having the portrait of both human and fish, or Malekar, one of the Gods is appeared. On the Tyrus coins, one side is depicting a fish in sea water and the image of Malkar, the Phoenician Goddess, the other side.
In 546 B.C., Cyrus, King of Achaemenidae dynasty, conquered Lydia and majority of the Greece regions were under his rule. Except Lydia, he ordered his other underpowered regions where were previously minting coins , to mint local coins, and merely minting Crozoid coins were stopped. Cyrus (530-550 B.S.) died while he was considering the necessary of coin and establishing a mint house. Then, Darius, king of Achaemenidae dynasty (486-522 B.C.) was the first who ordered to mint gold and silver coin called Darick imitating shape of Siglos weighed 8.41 and 5.6 grams respectly. The Iranian Darick uni-sided hammered coin depicting a Persian warrior or probably the king, semi-sitting position while holding a bow in his left hand and a javelin in his right hand, with a few hollows on the other side of coin. It is found a coin belogn to Darus III, on which instead of javelin, he is holding, a dagger. The first coins belong to Achaemenidae were called Shahi. Achaemenidae dynasty that was the greatest power of the world at that time, in particular, economically, since the monthly salary of a foreign soldier who was at the service of Iranian army was one gold coin (Darick).
Royal mint houses were minted coins according to the requirements. But at war time, the commanders or local satraps who were responsible for providing equipments and armies, received more share for minting coins from Royal treasury. There are valuable coins in Coin Collection of National Museum of Iran belong to Achaemenidae Satraps such as Datam, Pareh and Farnabad who ruled Cilicia, Babel and Syria. Other Achaemenidae coins include dependent kings and rulers coins such as Cyprus and Phoenicia kings and Kari, Lisy and Arad leaders, who were under power of Achaemenidae dynasty for a long time, as well as they locally were independent and could mint coin. One of the most interesting coins are Seyda silver two-sided coins, on one side it is appeared the picture of a warship and the other side depicting Ardeshir III, King of Achaemenidae dynasty ( 326-358 B.C.) riding on a magnificent wheel. The other silver coin is depicting Ardeshir II holding a bow in his hand and the other side portrays a sailed warship (358-4074 B.C.) which indicates the history of Iran marine in Achaemenidae era and the conditions and importance of warships. Alexander coins are very fascinating due to variety of images and magnificence. Some have been made by skilled artists, which are considered as artificial masterpieces. There are many viewspoints on the Alexander coins, their pictures and images. Some believe that it depicts Alexander manifesting one of the Gods, while some other suppose it to be one of the myth Gods, because the Alexander pictures are not the same on the coins. However, the preliminary coins, particularity gold coins, depicting a helmet which have been minted in Greece belonging to Alexander and it is artificially magnificent and is his real picture. The images of Alexander coins show that his half length is like Hercules, manifesting power and one of the ancient myth heroes of Greek wearing a lion skin hat and the other side oof coin depicting Zeus, Greek Great God, sitting on his throne holding power scepter in his hand, and nearby him the name of Alexander is scripted in Greece. In the drillings done in 1962-1963 by the joint mission of Iran and England in Pasargad, a number of Alexander and Celocus I coins have been found on which there are magnificent images, minted in Susa, Babel, Ecbatana, Capadekia and Ararat cities kept in the coins collection of National Museum of Ancient Iran.
The western kings coins ( 250 B.C.) which ruled eastern states have also been discovered depicting their social, economical, historical, artificial and cultural conditions. Arsacids coins are valuable documents which indicate either economical conditions of that era or survey the history of 500- year Great Kingdom of Iran in various aspects. In Arsacids dynasty, the trading was done by silver, capper and bronze coins and it is not found any gold coin belonging to this era so far. Arsacids kings were very considerable about having done their hair and beard and the style of their make-up can be found on coins images, they wore pearl necklace in 1-4 rows. On the coins related to the kings who ruled for a long time, there have been changes on their images. On the coins, it is appeared profile or portrait of kings and the other side of the coin depicting Arsaces, the founder of Arsacids dynasty, sitting on a platform holding a bow in his hand, which is in gratitude for the founder of their dynasty. The other side of Dirham coins depicting the king sitting on his throne while a winged angle is granting him kingdom ring. First, the scripts on the coins were in Greece indicating the titles of the kings. However, in Balash I dynasties (51-78 A.D.), the scripts on the coins were in Arami and Pahlavi-e- Arsacids. Some crowns belong to this era were so plain while some were very glorious and studded with jewels such as the crown of Queen of Farhad IV. Abbreviate symbols depicting the mint house of the city are shown on the other side of Parthia coins which indicate the established mint houses in the cities include: Naisa, Dara (located at present Darreh Gaz), SadDarvazeh (Close to Damghan , Tambrax (Sari), Siring (Close to Sari), Hegmataneh (Hamedan), Seleucia on Susa, Reca (Rey), Marv, Taysafun, Harat, Kangavar, Nahavand , etc.
In Seleucia dynasty, Elimaei region where is well-known for its coins included Khuzestan, old Ilam, Dezful and Susa, ruling by the local leaders, were permitted for minting coin by themselves when were conquered by Mehrdad, king of Arsacids dynasty, (171-128 B.C.). The oldest coin belonging to this era (about 100 B.C.) is related to Camnascris II. Khorsen or Kharax was located nearby Tigris and Euphrates and northeastern of Elimaei region, where first Alexandria on Tigris was established by Alexander of Macedonia, and later was called Antioch in Seleucid dynasty and then was named Khorsan or Kharex. Khorsan coins are very rare and the oldest ones belong to about middle of 2nd century A.D., illustrating that the Khorsan leaders have been influenced by the Partia art. The coins related to Pars Princes are considerable in the coin collection of National Iranian Museum. Pars region was of great importance in Achaemenidae dynasty as Achaemenidae kings stayed either in capitals such as Susa, Babel, Hegmataneh or in Takht—Jamshid palaces, therefore, Pars had a particular status and was ruled by the Pars Princes from Achaemenidae era., however, since Arsacidae Seleucia era, Pars Princes have religious power due to their good management, as well as minting coins because of being independence and having economical power in local affairs. The coins show the religion and culture of that era and present a number of kings whose names have been shown in the ancient scripts. The oldest pars princes coins belong to about late 3rd century A.D. and include about 30 kings ruled this region until 210 A.D. The coins related to the first leaders are appeared with the picture of king wearing special Achaemenidae Persians hat. The other side of the coin depicts a fire altar, a banner at one side and Parsian king being religious leader standing in a praying position in front of fire altar at the other side of it. The images of pars coins have been impressed by the Arsacids coins since Fardat II dynasty( 88-133 B.C.) . The scripts on Parsis coins began from crowing of Ardeshir I ( 224 A.D) and minting Sassanid coins period till the fall of this dynasty(652 A.D.). During this era, various kings ruled the country, some for several months and some like Khosrow Anushirvan for about half century and ordered to mint various coins which indicate the circumstances and customs including the pictures of kings, various crowns, design and style of clothes, style of hair and face, script and its changes, titles’ of kings, the power of kingdom and also the name of mint house places. The names of cities were scripted on the coins since Bahram dynasty (391-420 A.D.). Sassanid coins are depicting all types of crowns, hair design and face make-up, precious jewelries on the crowns. The other side of coin is typically show the image of fire altar with glorious flames appearing two guards around it, who are king or crown prince or two princes. On the other side of some gold coins, it is appeared the image of Queen or Goddess shining light around her head. The scripts are in Sassanid Pahlavi saying the titles of Sassanid kings. The most fascinating coins of this era are related to Ardeshir I, Sahpour I, Hormoz II, Bahram II alongwith Queen and crown prince and the Queen Poorandokht with long curly hair studded flowers wearing a studded crown.
The coins related to Bahram II alongwith his Queen when was first that the picture of queen was appeared on the coins in this era, depicts two types of crowns, one is round studded and the other is long crown that Sarkrazi is placed in all parts of crown and the edge of coins is studded with jewelries. Khosrow Anushirvan gold coins are cheifly appeared with king portrait. In Sassanid dynasty, the country was widespread to Amu Darya and Caspian Sea in the north, Sind and Panjab in the east, Persian Gulf and Oman Sea in the south and Syria and Arabia in the west. The Sassanid cities where the coin was minted include: Ardeshir Khoreh ( the present Phirooz Abad in Fars Province) , Vah Ardeshir ( near Teysfun ), Ramhormoz Ardeshir ( in Khoozestan Province), Rio Ardeshir ( in Arjan in Fars Province) , Neishaboor in Khorasan Provice, Gondi shapoor in Khoozestan Provine, Vah ghobad (near Taysafun) , AbarGhobad (in Khoozestan ) and Vah Ghobad in Taysafun.
In the minting coin process, the gold, silver or capper scripts pieces having the particular weigh were pressed between both sides of the coin through the hitting of a hammer in a controlled manner to produce a coin. Head of coin (a kind of model ) which was made of an hard metal, typically capper or bronze, produced in two separate parts. The images and scripts were carved on reverse on the coins. There were established mint houses in all the cities and significant places, sometimes minting coins as medal or remembrance in honor of victories and various festivals. After Sassanid dynasty and killing Yazdegerd III in Mary (625 A.D.), Arabian leaders were minted coins similar to Sassanid coins. These coins are the first Islamic coins. The Muslim Leaders didn’t curved their pictures on the coins and the coins appeared with the images of Sassanid kings. Rashedin Caliphs were also minted the Arab- Sassanid coins depicting the name of Sassanid kings, widely with the picture of Khosrow II , king of Sassanid dynasty, and the names of Top Islamic leaders scripted in Pahlavi and sometimes Kufia coins and the name of mint house and date of minting as well as Yazdegerdi or Hejira year appeared in Pahlavi on the other side of the coin with the script saying “Besmellaahe Rabbi “ or “Besmellaah” that means “in the name of God” or “Mohammad Rasoulallaah” that means “Mohammad is the prophet” o the coins, which are called Arab- Sassanid coins. These coins were silver (Dirham) and sometimes Capper (Fless). The first Islamic Dirham was minted by Ommar ebn Khattab in the 8th year of his leadership in 20 H. on the coin, it was appeared the picture of Sassanid king and the words “Besmellaahe Rabbi “ or “Besmellaah” scripted in Kufia and the other side of the coin depicting the name of Sassanid king scripted in Pahlavi, which was kept on Rashidin Caliphs and the early of Bani Omayyeh dynasty, i.e., till Abdolmalek ibne Marvan in 79 H.
Then, the Arab–Sassanid coins replaced by Islamic coins. The first gold coins (Dinhar) without any image was appeared in Abdolmalek – ibne- Marvan, Umayyads caliph in 77 H. and the silver coins were formally minted since 79 H, afterward Arab-Sassanid coins were abolished.
Although by the spread of scripted islamic coins without any image, style of Sassanid coins were minted in Tabarestan from second half of first H. century till 2¬¬nd H.century, which were smaller than Arab-Sassanid coins, called Tabarestan coins. The coins related to Arab- Tabarestan were also similar to Spahbodan coins, but the name of each one was scripted in kufia and the name of Tabarestan and the year of minting in Pahlavi. Tabarestan’s spahbodans were Sassanid and founded an independence rule in Tabarestan, choosing a particular date called Tabari year.
As it was mentioned before, the first Umayyads gold coins which were minted in the rule of Abdul Malek – ibne – Marvan , replaced the Arab Sassanid Dirham. In the rule of Umayyads, it was not appeared the name of caliphs on the coins and only dipecting the date and place of minting coin on silver coins and date of minting on the other side, and Al-Ekhlas, Holy verses of Quran, without the word, Ghol” saying,” Allah Ahad Allah Samad Lam Yaled Va Lam Yolad Va Lam Yacon Lahoo Kofovan Ahad”. Since 127 H., When Abu Muslim Khorasani uprrose against Umayyads, till down of Umayyads in 132 H. and beginning the rule of Saffah, the first Abbasids Caliph, the particular coins called Abu Muslim, indicating Umayyads politics were minted without name of Caliph, such as Umayyads coins , in mountainous regions of Khorasan, Khoozestan and Fars.
The name of Abu Muslim has been appeared on any silvercoins, however, his name is scripted on capper coins from 127-132 H. Sureh No. 12 of Quran on the coin and a holy verses if Tobeh Ayeh No.33 are scripted on the edge of other side of the coin, saying “Mohammad Resoul. Allaah, Arsolih Belhoda va Dine- Alhagh Leyanzarho Aladdin Kolloho va Levakroh Almoshrekoon.” According the various sources, there were many mint houses where minted Umayyads coins. They were located in Iraq and Iran except mint house where placed in Damascus, Afrighieh and Andalucia.
It is consdierable that these cities are mostly the ones where Arab- Sassanid coins were minnted. Abbasids coins are similar to Umayyads ones, however, on which it wass not appeared Sureh No. 112 of the holy Quran on the other side of coin and replaced by “Mohammad Resoul Allah”. Gradually, Abbasids coins were completed and holy verses 3,4 of Room Sureh of Quran was scripted on the edge of coins, saying: “Allah al Amer Men Ghable va Men Bad va Yomaez Yaghmahol Momenoon Seke be nasro Allah.”
In the early 3rd Hegira century, half – independence rules in Iran like Taherian, and Saffarian were appeared, having valuable and magnificent coins.
The picture of Taher-ibn-Hossein, the well- know Mamoon conmmander and the founder of Taherian dynasty, who later was called Zol Yaminien , was appeared on the coins. The other dynasty which was from Sistan, named Saffarian, founded by Yaghoob Leys.
One of the great kingdoms which ruled most of the regions in Iran in 3rd and 4th H. century, was Samanian whose realm was spread from Indian borders in the east to Iran’s central plateau in the west. The majority of hypogenous silver treasures which have been dixcovered in Russia, Poland and Escandinaria belong to the Samanian silver coins. Most of the Samanian coins were minted standard and official, but a number have been minted in bigger sizes (4.8 cm diameter) in Hidukesh area.
Samanian coins were cheifly minted in Khorasan and eastern regions, however, some were minted in the western areas. Buwaihids were also minted coin as the same as Sumanian. The coins belonging to this era are valuable for the historic researchers, as they indicate the many titles and names of Buwaihids princes, the relation of various branches with each other and different figureheads which recognized them officially and also the widespread of their realm. Buwaihids leaders had the power to replace Caliphs.
However, due to religious aspects, they were respected depicting their names on the coins.
In the 4th H. century, after Sassanid dynasty, firstly it is appeared the title of kings of Buwaihids on the coins. Holly verses of Quran which was depicted on the of Abbasids coins, scripted on Sanmnian, Buwaihids and Ghaznavids coins as well.
On the Iranian Islamic coins, the picture of human or animal is not seen till Seljuqs dynasty.
The images on coins appeared with sword and occasionally crescent and star. However, Roman Seljuqs coins depicting lion and sun and Toghrill Beg coins were added the words “Nagh ghs an Alazam and Gha An Al Adel and Ilkhan Al Moazzam” in the beginning and the end of their names, but Iranian Ilkhanian were gradually used “king of Islam and Soltan” as the same as Iranian kings. They sometimes scripted their names in Dyghori on silver coins. On the Ghazan coins, the name of Ghazan Mahmmod was scripted in kufi, Oyghori and Chinese. In general, Duing the six centuries, the images on the Arab, Sassanid, Umayyads and Abbadids, Iranian kings, Turkish kings until Mogholia coins were scripted in old kufi ,without putting full stop and mostly angled cursive. In this era, there had been a little change in scripts styles related to Atabakan and Khwarezm shahs capper coins. After Mongolians attacked Iran, Kufi cursive writing was replaced by Naskh and Nastaligh in Safavids dynasty. In fact, the changes on the writings of coins were done slower than scripting.
The images of different animals are appeared on small capper coins. The image of lion and sun on the coin was gradually changed. Various Royal monogram or signatures by Mongolians kings and Torkemans were popular of which the most readable ones are seen on Naser addin Shah Coins.
Although the important coins of various eras are unattractive due to rustiness and rottenness, however, they are of great importance, historically. During the first Hegira centuries, Coins were minted in the majority of cities, particularly capper coins, on which the name of cities or leaders was depicted, whose names likely have not been registered in the history.
The coins were found by the scientific drillings done in ancient regions. There is a collection of capper coins kept in National Museum of Iran. Mint House, was the significant essential in financial organization system of Safavia era, where was managed by Moiro Almamalek who was responsible for deposal and appointment of leaders and the head of mint house. The Safavid kings coins were various and they considered about the scripts on the coins. The name and title of Safavid kings, simply or as a poem, were scripted on the coins.
Date and place of minting coin and also the name of twelve Imams or several innocent ones were depicted on Safavid coins, which were mostly gold, silver and capper. The silver and capper coins were used in trading while the gold ones used in festival and crowning ceremonies. The monetary unit of this era was Toman, a Mongulian word means 10 thousand. The gold coin was called Ashrafi and the silver coin named Bisti, Mohammadi, Shahi, Abbasi, Panj Abbasi and Lari. Capper coins were called Ghazi or Ghariki which was equal to 1.10 Shahi. On small capper coins, the images of different animals and birds are observed.
On Nadershah Afshar (1148-1160 H.) coins, it was minted the word “AsSoltan Naderial” and a verse of poem.
Nadershah crowned in Dasht - e – Moghan in 148 H. and as a memorial it was scripted “Alkheir Fi Ma Vagha” on the coins. The historic Abjad letters on the coins indicate the date of crowing of Nadershah. Karim Khan Zand (1163-1193 H.) never called himself as a king or Soltan during 30 years of his rule, naming Vakil Raaya.
His name was simply scripted as Karim and the place of minting on one side of coins and on the other side a verse of apoem. Karim Khan Zand’s gold coins are called Karimkhani.
There are various coins minted in different cities belong to the era of Qajars. The writing on the coins were simple like Agha Mohammad Khan coins on which only his name as Ya Mohammad were minted on above of name of minting city and on the other side a verse of a poem. Since the middle of Safavid era, the cities were named due to their political, geographical and religious conditions, which are widely shown on coins belonging to this era. These titles were also used on Afshaian, Zandian and Qajarian coins.
In 1295 H., nn Naser Addin Shah dynasty, traditional mintage in major cities of the country were stopped and the first royal mint house was established in Tehran under his name, as well as the titles which include Dar Alsultaneh - e – Esfahan, Dar Almarz – e- Rasht, Dar Al Ebade – Yazd, Dar Alsaadehe – Zanjan, Dar Al momenine – e- Kashan, Dar Al Aman Kerman, Dar Alsaltaneh – e – Tabriz ans Dar Al Elm – e- Shiraz, were deleted on the coins
The mintage machinery was established in Tehran in Naser Aldinshah dynasty which was opened by him in 1294 H. Therefore, the first mintage coins were released in the cities. From the rule of Naser Aldin shah till the down of Qajars, the popular coins include Zarrin Coins as 10 Tommans, 2 Tommans, 1 Tommans, 2 Ashrafi, Ashrafi, 5 Hezari, 2 Hezari Simin coins as 5 hezar Dinary, 10 hezar Dinary, 1 hezar Dinary, 2 shahi, 5 shahi, shahi, capper and Nikel coins as 200 Dinari, 100 Dinari, 50 Dinari, 25 Dinnari. The scripted coins without any picture and image were popular till Fath Alishah Qajar dynasty.
The valuable specimens of all the mentioned coins are kept in National Museum of Iran, where are exhibited in the second floor of Islamic Museum from the appearance of Islam till the down of Qajars era.
Before inventing the writing, human took action to make a tool to indicate his ownership on his own properties , due to unobvious political and economical situations.
Therefore, the seal was made of different materials such as Marble, ivory, gold, silver, capper, etc. He used images such as geometrical figures, animals, human, natural elements as the sign of Gods and or Gods in the image of human.
The images on the seals were curved negatively and after, sealing them on the other materials like mud, chalk, paper, etc are appeared positively. The curved images on the seals, in addition to its artificial aspects, include important documents of existing industries, careers and various activities belong to ancient times, as well as the appearance of seals led to a new step in trading relations. Sealing on various types of goods, dishes, jugs, barrels, in addition to ownership, means the signature of the owner of the goods.
The oldest seal which belongs to 4th millennium B.C and made of baked mud, chalk, Murbel, soap and iron. They were formed as button, stamp or a slept animal. Their images include simple geometrical lines, insects, portrait, sun, human and animal. These seals were mostly discovered from Susa, Tape silk in Kashan, Tape – Hesar Damghan and Tappeh Gian. Some types of seals are as cylindrical pipes.
Since the leveled seals had no space for showing different scenes, which were a mixture of the above images, the cylindrical seal was invented, which by turning of round on the mentioned materials, it is appeared positively. These seals were made of Various types of decorative stones such as agate in different colors like lapis lazuli, jasper and black and white marble.
The seals have various images such as, hunting, fishing, agriculture, animals and human as half – human and half – animal, fighting animals, or human and animal with the myth animal, the myths depicting prays and beliefs on Gods and Goddess. After inventing writing, in addition to images, scripts and names were appeared on the seals which initially were as pictured writing , which had been used in Iran in the late of 4th millennium B.C and early 3rd millennium B.C.
The images on the seals indicate the customs, social and political conditions from 4th millennium B.C. until the middle of 1st millennium and early Achaemenidae dynasty.
In the 3rd millennium B.C., Eilami writing replaced by Akady writing, which was used on seals for indicating products, trading, delivery, etc.
The images on seals have direct relation with the positions and beliefs of the owner of the seal, in fact, it shows the living of the people of that ear. On the seals belong to the early city life, there are the images of careers, trades and industries such as pottery, spinning, cloth-weaving, agriculture and shipping.
The oldest seals are kept in National Museum of Iran, which have been discovered by Susa drillings and belong to 6000 years ago. These seals were popularly used for thousand years upto present. The places where the seals have been found include: Tappeh Hesar, Tappeh Silk, Shabdad-e-Kerman, Shahr—Sookhte Zabol m, Chogha Zanbil near Haft Tappeh Ahwaz, Marlik in Roodbar, etc.
It is not obvious that whether these seals were used by th particular persons in the ancient times, however, since 5000 year ago, it have been used by ones such as kings, Clerks, business men, writers and the clergies.
In Islamic era, there were various seals made of various expensive and precious stones like agate, turquoise, ruby, emerald and or ivory and bone from the early centuries of Islam named various persons including important persons , kings , courtiers and ordinary people. There are very beautiful and valuable seals belong to 4th millennium B.C. till the end of Qajar’s era scripted in Kufi, Naskh, Sols Soghra,Nastaligh, etc, indicating the lifestyle , religious beliefs and political , social and economical history of human communities in the ancient times kept in the collection of National Museum of Iran.