Archeological Reports

Gompu: A Neglected and Remote Sasanian Dam

Mohammad Jafar Malekzadeh
Translated by:
Soodabeh Malekzadeh

Local people know this dam by the name of Gompu. Gompu is constructed in a tight and deep valley situated in Mount Bol[1], Lārestan, Fārs, Iran. This specific choice of name can be related to the Persian word gomp. In the majority of the dialects of Fārs, gomp or γomp means a natural pond or pool no matter what the size, and makes complete sense as we see that down the valley where the dam is located, there is a pond or gomp that is in fact a more or less round pool with stone walls[2]. Water flows into the stone pool both from the river bed and from water seeping into it from below, which leaves the pool full of water even months after the flood has subsided. Water flows from south-east to north-west in the valley and the axis of the dam is at right angle to the flow direction.

[1] Bol in Middle Persian means “high”.

[2] Some neighboring villages consider the stone pool downstream of the dam as a more or less sacred site with healing powers. Still to this day locals take the aged or the ill to the pool to bathe, and hopefully be healed.