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TEHRAN, IRAN: Map of Tehran. City and Suburbs. نقشه تهران شهر و حومه Zoom

TEHRAN, IRAN: Map of Tehran. City and Suburbs. نقشه تهران شهر و حومه


A cleverly designed map of Tehran, printed in black and purple, with emphasis on the technological and urban achievements, shows the city in the late 1960s during the White Revolution, and was designed by Abbas Sahab - the Father of Iran's Cartography.

Author: Abbas SAHAB (1921-2000).
Place and Year: Tehran, Iran: A. Sahab Geographic & Drafting Institute - Mu'assasah-i Jughrāfiyā'ī va Kārtūgrāfī-i Saḥāb [late 1960s].
Technique: Lithograph in black and purple (soft folds with tiny tears and holes, small tears in the folds) 55,5 x 87 cm (inches).
Code: 65692

This monochrome tourist map with black lines, made by the most important Iranian cartographer oft he 20th century, Abbas Sahab, presents the urban achievements of the late 1960s Tehran. Marked are populated areas (purple), semi-developed areas (purple dots), parks, gardens, and relief (purple lines). Black lines mark super highways, highways, gravel roads, dirt roads, railways and rivers. the names are printed in English and Farsi.

The map emphasises on the modern achievements of the late 1960s instead of on historical monuments and history.

The map was made after the White revolution of 1963, when the city underwent its largest development in urbanism, road construction and transportation. 


Sahab - Father of Iran’s Cartography

The Sahab Geographic and Drafting Institute was founded in Tehran in 1935, becoming the first private geographic and mapmaking enterprise in the Middle East.  Its founder was Abolghasem Sahab was succeeded by his son Abbas Sahab, the draftsman of the present map. 

The map was made by Abbas Sahab (1921-2000), the so called “Father of Iran’s Cartography”.

He was born in Fam, in Tafresh district in Iran. His father Ostad Abolghasem Sahab Tafreshi was a famous writer and author of about seventy titles on on historical, geographical, religious, cultural and artistic topics.

Abbas Sahab devoted himself to cartography already during the time off his studies in Teheran. During his life he created more than  1,500 valuable works including maps, atlases, plates, scientific and medical illustrations, as well as geographical globes.

Sahab was very active on the international level. He was an an active member of the International Cartographic Association Between 1968-1971 he issued maps of other countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Turkey.

In 1970 Sahab organised the First International Map Exhibition in the Tehran Teachers Training High School and in the next years he organised similar events in the other cities.

In his last years he dedicated himself to his monumental work: The Great Atlas of 14 Centuries of Islamic Arts in 20 volumes, of which the first volume was published in 2000.

After Sahab’s death the printing house was taken over by his sons and is still active today. Sahab’s unique library with thousands of volumes on cartography also survives intact today.


References: http://www.sahabmap.com/company_sahab_biography.htm. Cf. American Geographical Society Library, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries: (AGS) (MAPS) 423-d .T43 A-[1967]a (http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/digital/collection/agdm/id/2143).