Archeological Reports

Siāh-Kal: A Newly Discovered Chahar Taq in Zarneh of the Ilam Province

Author:
Milad Vandaee, Young Researchers & Elites Club, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran; Mohammad-Javad Jafari

Mapping and studying religious monuments of each period, beyond the scale of single sites, sheds light on several social, cultural, and political aspects of the period under study. Given the significance of Zoroastrianism as the state religion in the Sasanian period, mapping and studying Sasanian Zoroastrian monuments form a fundamental component of our understanding of various aspects of the Sasanian Empire. What follows is a report on the recently mapped Chahar Taq of Siāh Kal, part of an ongoing project of mapping Sasanian religious monuments. The term Chahar Taq refers to the central domed space in the Zoroastrian fire temples of Sasanian and Early Islamic period. The text survived from the Sasanian period report on the construction of Chahar Taqs under the patronage of kings and elites.

Siraf Archeological Report

Author:
Soma Khakzad

Historical sources inform us of the significance of maritime activity in the history of ancient Persia. Certain phases of the maritime history of ancient Persia are in particular highlighted in the sources at our disposal, for example the account of the Salamis wars between the Persia and the Greece in the Achaemenid period or the account of the sea trade between Persia and Far East in the Sasanian and early Islamic Periods (Casson 1971; Hasan 1928). We know that the Silk Road passed through the northern coast of the Persian Gulf (Casson 1991) and we know of several ancient ports on this route, such as Kong, Gonāweh, Lengeh, Qeshm, etc (Ra’in 1371).

The Architecture and Status of Iranian Temples in the Sasanian Era

Author:
Ehsan Tahmasbi, Islamic Azad University, Sarvestan, Iran

The present work describes a historical study of Iranian temples in the Sasanian era. The most important questions addressed here are on the way the rituals were performed, the status and significance of the temples in this era and the previous empires as well as architectural arrangement and the most important spaces of these temples mostly referred to as fire temples. Toward this end, first, the most important characteristics of Iranian society in the Sasanian era including the relationship between religion and government and status of the clergy among social classes are studied. Then, the status of temples in that era including the ceremonies and events held in the buildings are addressed. In the third section, architectural arrangement of the Parthian temples will be examined and in the final section, the Sasanian temples, mostly fire temples, are explored. The results indicated that both religious ceremonies including prayers before the sacred fire and ritual festivals and imperial rituals were celebrated in the fire temples. Main spaces of famous fire temples are: Eyvan, dome chamber, and courtyard arranged in a row on an axis.

Sar-Gandāb

Author:
Yaghobb Mohammadidar, Bu Ali Sina University

Sar‐Gandāb is located in the western part of Iran, in the Zagros Mountains, close to the border between the provinces of Ilam and Lorestan (Fig1). The geographical coordinates of the sites are 33°30’21.17″N, 46°53’44.29″E. Sar‐Gandāb is 36 km northeast of Seymareh Dam, as the crew flies (Fig2). It is possible that the strategic significance of the site in antiquity was more than what present conditions suggest: Sar‐Gandāb is located on a natural northwest‐southeast passage through a narrow valley of Zagros. At some locations, valley is as narrow as three kilometers. But, at the vicinity of Sar‐Gandāb, the valley widens and reaches a maximum width of four kilometers (Fig3). Water is abundant. In addition to the River Seymareh, a Sulphur spring originates near the site and its water is used for irrigated agriculture (Fig6).

 

 

Qalāt/Qobad Fort: A Sasanian-Islamic Fort in Kavār, Southeast of Shiraz

Author:
Parsa Ghasemi; Maryam Esmaili; Greg Watson

The county of Kavār is located about 50 km southeast of Shiraz, on one of the old caravan routes between Shiraz, the Persian Gulf and the east regions of Iran. An archaeological survey of the Tasūj sub-district of Kavār was undertaken by Parsa Ghasemi in the winter of 2012. Thirty four archaeological sites were identified. One of the most important sites proved to be the fort of Qalāt or Qobād, on the Mount Qalāt, southwest of the Mahārlū Lake, between Sarvestān and Kavār. Surface finds suggest that the fort was in use from the Sasanian (3rd-7th centuries CE) to the Early and Middle Islamic period (7th-12th centuries CE). This paper summarizes the results of the survey of the Qalāt Fort.

The Northernmost Zoroastrian Fire-Temple in the World

Author:
Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine

The Caucasus is a land of diverse population and beliefs. Today, Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Yazidis live in cities and villages in the valleys and gorges of the region. One religion that had a strong impact on ancient Armenia, Georgia, and the Republic of Azerbijan was Zoroastrianism. While the sources and views of Zoroastrianism are mainly from its homeland, Iran, Zoroastrianism also flourished in the Caucasus in conjunction with the local, native religions of the region. Kartveli or Georgia was converted to Christianity in the fourth century CE. The traditional date given for this momentous event in the history of Georgia is 337 CE. According to Christian sources, King Mirian (Mihran) converted from “paganism,” but a closer look at the sources suggests that the king and the people of ancient Georgia were worshipers of Ohrmazd (Ahura Mazda).

A Study of the Imagery and Place of Women in the Sasanian Period: Sigillographic Evidence

Author:
Mohadese Malekān, College of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University Hamedan, Iran; Yaghōb Mohammadifar, College of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University Hamedan, Iran
Translated by:
Greg Watson

An important source for the history of certain periods is the seals and sealings that date from them. This applies especially to the Sasanian period of Iranian history, from which only a relatively slight corpus of epigraphic material has survived. A certain proportion of the thousands of seals we have from this period are associated with women. Studying these seals may offer researchers interesting insights into the place of women in Sasanian society. Of course, the practice of representing images of women on seals has long antecedents, and on Sasanian seals, the only evidence that enables us to identify the owner of a seal as a woman, with any degree of certainty, is the existence of a female name in the accompanying inscription.The majority of seals bearing an image of a woman also have an inscription in the Pahlavi script where the name is a compound that includes the suffix dukht, meaning „lady‟ or „daughter‟. The image of a woman accompanied by a female name on a seal suggests that woman‟s individual autonomy, right to property ownership, and possibly, sometimes, some sort of official administrative position or post held by that woman.

The Tang-e Qandil Bas-Relief: A Reconsideration

Author:
Milād Vandāee, Department of Archaeology, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hamedan, Iran
Translated by:
Greg Watson

The Sasanian bas-relief in the Qandil Gorge, is one that has been the subject of much debate in the archaeological community over the identities of the individuals represented in it. The work itself is one of the least accessible examples of Sasanian art, and was the last of its type to come to the attention of archaeologists. This paper is the outcome of three investigations conducted by the author in the years 2008, 2009 and 2012, which were presented in a Persian article titled “A Review of the Depiction of Narseh in Sasanian Pictorial Bas-Reliefs”, published in volume one of the book Sasanian Pictorial Bas-Reliefs I written by this author, which compared the Tang-e Qandil relief with representations in the Barm-e Dilak I and Naghsh-e Rostam VIII reliefs (Vandāii, 2013). The current paper first considers the location of the relief and its dimensions. It then briefly describes the composition and discusses the varying understandings of different scholars. The paper concludes with this writer‟s own considered view of the identities of the figures depicted in the work.

A Concise Report on Some Newly Found Sasanian Sites in Kazerun

Author:
Sirus Barfi; Mosaib Amiri; Soodabeh Malekzadeh; Touraj Daryaee

Archeological surveys conducted in the valley of Kazerun show that this plane is one of the areas in Fars that has enjoyed human interest since prehistoric times, especially the Neolithic period which gained profound importance during the Sasanian era. The establishment of the city of Bishapur, ordered by Shapur I is one of the reasons pertaining to this planes rise in importance. In the summer of 2005, the monuments and remnants of the Kazerun plane were studied and prepared to be registered. Ultimately registration dossiers were provided for some of the findings. Among the identified remnants and findings were some Sasanian areas which have not yet been introduced.