02/10/1866 – Leaving Tehran

Tinco Lycklama stayed nearly five months in Tehran. He says that was enough to see what had to be seen. Over the past weeks, we covered some key moments, encounters, and observations from Tinco’s writings. We will get back to that next year, when Tinco returns to the Persian capital for another month. In the meantime, he will have seen more cities in Persia and met more people in power – and we expect Tinco’s story to become ever more interesting through the broad variety of his experience.

Over the next two months, Tinco is discovering southern Persia. He then crosses the Persian Gulf and travels the Tigris into old Mesopotamia – current Iraq. He will spend over five months in Baghdad (then under Ottoman rule); during this extensive stay, he will also do many excursions to explore ancient sites such as Babylon, where he will do some modest archaeological work of his own. Next, he will return to Persia and visit his friends in Tehran – and also spend some money on objects that he will take to Europe for his future museum.

Over the next few weeks, some very important visits are on the agenda. Tinco considered meeting Persepolis as a defining moment in his life. He will get there by October 27, and we’ll do something special on those days – with the kind help of experts at the Oriental Institute in Chicago and the UCLA in California.

GATES TEHRAN - Qasvin Gate 1900
Qazvin Gate, Tehran – where Tinco left for his journey towards Isfahan

But, right now, Tinco is moving towards Isfahan. His friend, the British minister Charles Alison, had arranged the horses for him, and Tinco left in the best of circumstances on his road towards the south. Some of the places he visits would have merited a longer stay, such as the holy city of Qom – but Tinco was somewhat in a haste to reach Isfahan and Persepolis. Also, he was looking forward to exploring Mesopotamia and Baghdad.

Tinco will spend two weeks in Isfahan – and for many good reasons. After all, the city had been the empire’s capital for about two centuries, and was here that the Dutch East-India Company (VOC) installed a major trading post in the 17th century and became the most important western trading partner of the Persians. Tinco was intent on discovering everything that had to be learned about the city’s glorious past.

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