Efforts by Iranian intellectuals in the Constitution and Reza Shah periods to elaborate the two concepts of ‘national architecture heritage’ and ‘history of Iranian architecture’ were parts of their attempts to institutionalise modernity. These two concepts were in turn based on other concepts such as ‘time’, ‘past’, ‘history’ and ‘old-age oeuvre’, and are noteworthy for exploring their foundations and history as well as their conflicting and evolutional aspects. This article tries to use an interpretive-historical method to contrast the first-hand documents and quotes from the period, with those from later takes on that period in order to answer the questions of: 1) What are the origins of the ideas of ‘national architecture heritage of Iran’ and ‘history of Iranian architecture’?; and 2) What are the areas of conflict and evolution of these concepts? Examining these concepts, this research tries to detect conflicting and evolutional modes of them. Modern concepts such as the ‘progress’ (advancement) seem to associate the two above concepts, whilst demarcations between the two indicate a contrast, which is to do with the potential of national architectural heritage in constructing a sense of fascination with, and grandeur of ancient Iran in the Constitution and Reza Shah periods on one hand, and the position of architectural history in creating a systematic methodology for dealing with history, emphasising the need for carefulness and attention to details towards understanding the history in its accurate form.
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