Discover the fascinating history of the Wall of Gorgan, the second-largest wall in the world after China, including its construction, unique features, and archaeological significance. Learn how this monumental structure was built with honor and without the loss of innocent lives.

The 1500-year-old Wall of Gorgan is a remarkable historical monument that holds a significant place in the world’s architectural heritage. It is recognized as the second largest wall in the world, only after the Great Wall of China. Built more than a millennium before the completion of the Great Wall, the Wall of Gorgan stands as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its builders.

Despite the passage of time and the ravages of history, some parts of the Wall of Gorgan still remain buried underground, while others have been preserved through archaeological findings and research. The wall was first documented by an American archaeologist who captured aerial photographs of Iranian antiquities in 1315, revealing a red wall in Gorgan, which later became valuable evidence for further study.

The construction of the Wall of Gorgan involved the use of tens of millions of brick molds and the presence of numerous brick kilns in close proximity to the wall. Additionally, a 200-kilometer-long water canal was built to provide water for the construction process. It is estimated that the entire construction of the wall took ninety years to complete, showcasing the immense effort and dedication of its builders.

Aerial photograph of the red brick Wall of Gorgan, a 1500-year-old historical monument in Iran
Aerial view of the red Wall of Gorgan, a monumental historical structure that stands as the second largest wall in the world, showcasing its size and craftsmanship.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Wall of Gorgan is its stark contrast with the Great Wall of China in terms of its purpose and construction methods. Unlike the Great Wall, which was built primarily as a military fortification, the Wall of Gorgan was constructed with honor, and historical evidence suggests that innocent lives were not sacrificed during its construction. This makes the Wall of Gorgan a unique and significant architectural marvel.

With hopes of registration and local efforts to restore the 195-kilometer-long Wall of Gorgan, this historical monument has the potential to become a captivating tourist attraction. Often referred to as the Red Wall or the Red Snake, this ancient structure is believed to have served as a protective barrier for the Sassanid Empire. Stretching from Gomishan to the Gildagh Mountains in northeastern Kalaleh, though a significant portion of the wall has been damaged over time and lies buried underground.

In conclusion, the Wall of Gorgan is a remarkable historical structure that deserves recognition and appreciation for its grandeur and significance. As the second largest wall in the world, it stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Iran and the ingenuity of its builders. Its unique features and honorable construction methods make it a fascinating subject for archaeological research and exploration. Discover the secrets of this awe-inspiring monument and delve into the rich history of the Wall of Gorgan.

The concept of “Dark Tourism” may seem unconventional at first glance, but it has gained increasing popularity among adventurous travelers who seek to explore the darker side of history. From cities scarred by natural disasters to areas marked by wars, massacres, and other tragedies, Dark Tourism offers a unique and often profound perspective on humanity’s past.

In Iran, a country steeped in rich history and culture, there are several captivating destinations that fall under the category of Dark Tourism. For those with a penchant for the unusual and thought-provoking, these lesser-known sites offer a compelling and immersive experience.

One such destination is the Ardabil cannibal castle, shrouded in mystery and folklore. This centuries-old castle, located in northern Iran, has a haunting reputation for cannibalistic practices by its inhabitants during times of famine. Exploring its ancient walls and chambers is a journey into a dark chapter of Iran’s history, filled with legends and stories that continue to intrigue visitors.

Nowshahr Ghost Lagoon - Dark Tourism destination in Iran with mysterious beauty
Unveiling the mystery of Nowshahr Ghost Lagoon, a captivating Dark Tourism destination in Iran.

Another enigmatic site is the Nowshahr ghost lagoon, a serene and otherworldly lake nestled in the lush forests of northern Iran. Legend has it that the lake is haunted by the spirits of those who perished in its waters, and locals believe it holds mystical powers. Visitors can witness the ethereal beauty of the lake while pondering the stories and folklore associated with its haunting reputation.

For those interested in Iran’s modern history, a visit to the Qasr prison museum in Tehran is a sobering and eye-opening experience. This former prison turned museum offers a glimpse into Iran’s tumultuous past, where political prisoners were held and subjected to harsh conditions. The exhibits provide a chilling reminder of Iran’s complex history and the struggles faced by those who fought for freedom and justice.

Jan Chabahar Cemetery: Unveiling the Stories of Iran's Dark Tourism Destination
Exploring the mysteries of Jan Chabahar Cemetery, a haunting destination in Iran with rich history and folklore.

Jan Chabahar cemetery is another intriguing destination for Dark Tourism enthusiasts. Located in southeastern Iran, this cemetery is known for its unique tombstones adorned with colorful tiles and intricate designs. Visitors can reflect on the cultural and religious customs surrounding death in Iran while marveling at the artistic craftsmanship of the tombstones.

Last but not least, the Darvishkhan stone garden offers a surreal and captivating experience. Located in western Iran, this otherworldly garden is filled with intricate sculptures made of stone, depicting a wide range of themes from mythology to social commentary. The garden is a testament to the creativity and artistic expression of the late Darvishkhan, a local artist, and provides a thought-provoking insight into Iran’s contemporary art scene.

As with any form of tourism, it’s crucial to approach Dark Tourism destinations with sensitivity and respect for the local culture and customs. It’s important to be mindful of the significance of these sites to the local communities and to engage in ethical and responsible travel practices.

If you’re a curious and adventurous traveler seeking unique and thought-provoking experiences, exploring Iran’s Dark Tourism destinations can be a captivating and enriching journey. From ancient castles with dark legends to serene lakes with ghostly tales, Iran’s intriguing and enigmatic sites are sure to leave a lasting impression on those who dare to venture into the world of Dark Tourism.

If you’re looking for a unique cultural experience in Iran, a visit to the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd is a must. As the most important Zoroastrian fire temple in the world, this ancient place of worship holds deep religious and historical significance for Zoroastrians, followers of one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions.

The Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd, also known as Atashkadeh, is believed to be one of the oldest continuously burning fire temples in the world, with a history dating back to the 5th century. The temple houses a sacred fire, which is believed to have been burning for over 1,500 years and is considered a symbol of purity and divine light in Zoroastrianism. The fire is continuously tended by priests, who ensure that it never extinguishes, making it a truly awe-inspiring sight to behold.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the Zoroastrian Fire Temple is its architecture. The temple’s design is a unique blend of Persian and Zoroastrian elements, reflecting the syncretic nature of Zoroastrianism, which has been influenced by local cultures throughout its long history. The temple features a central dome adorned with intricate tilework, symbolizing the cosmic vault of heaven, and a grand entrance gate guarded by two majestic stone lions, signifying the eternal guardians of the faith.

Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd - Eternal Flame and Rich Heritage
Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Yazd, Iran

Inside the temple, visitors are greeted by a serene atmosphere and a sense of reverence. The main hall, where the sacred fire is housed, is adorned with ornate carvings, inscriptions, and colorful stained glass windows that depict scenes from Zoroastrian mythology and history. The fire is housed in a bronze vessel, which is placed on a raised platform and is visible through a glass enclosure. Visitors are not allowed to approach the fire, as it is considered sacred and only accessible to the temple’s priests.

One of the most captivating rituals that take place at the Zoroastrian Fire Temple is the daily ceremony of tending the sacred fire. The priests, known as Mobeds, perform elaborate rituals involving prayers, hymns, and offerings, as they tend to the fire with great care and devotion. The ceremony is a mesmerizing spectacle, and visitors are often allowed to witness this ancient ritual, which offers a glimpse into the rich spiritual heritage of Zoroastrianism.

Apart from its religious significance, the Zoroastrian Fire Temple also serves as a repository of Zoroastrian artifacts and manuscripts, which provide valuable insights into the history, beliefs, and practices of this ancient faith. The temple’s museum displays a fascinating collection of relics, including ancient scriptures, sacred texts, ceremonial objects, and traditional costumes, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Zoroastrian community.

The Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd is not just a place of worship, but also a testament to the resilience and endurance of the Zoroastrian community, who have faced numerous challenges throughout history, yet have managed to preserve their faith and traditions. The temple serves as a center of community life, where Zoroastrians from all over the world come to worship, connect with their roots, and celebrate their cultural identity.

Hope on the Horizon: Iran’s Tourism Industry Bounces Back After COVID-19

As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Iran’s tourism industry has started to show signs of recovery. In recent months, the country has reopened its tourist sites and hotels, and visitors are once again coming to explore Iran’s rich history and culture.

With a population of over 83 million people, Iran is the second-largest country in the Middle East, and its cultural heritage spans thousands of years. From the ancient ruins of Persepolis to the stunning mosques of Isfahan, there is no shortage of sights to see and experiences to enjoy in Iran.

To ensure the safety of both visitors and locals, the Iranian government has implemented a number of health and safety measures, such as mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing requirements, at tourist sites and hotels. These measures have been effective in preventing the spread of the virus while still allowing visitors to enjoy their trip.

A nurse wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in Iran
A nurse wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in Iran

The impact of these measures is evident in the number of visitors that are once again coming to Iran. While the total number of foreign visitors in 2020 decreased by 72% compared to the previous year, the industry is seeing a rebound in 2021. According to the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), the number of foreign visitors in the first three months of 2021 was up by over 50% compared to the same period in 2020.

This increase in visitors is a promising sign for the future of Iran’s tourism industry. While there is still a long way to go before the industry fully recovers, the signs are encouraging. With its unique blend of history, culture, and hospitality, Iran is sure to continue to be a top destination for travelers from around the world.

As more and more visitors are drawn to Iran’s unique cultural heritage, the industry is sure to continue to thrive. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality, Iran is a top destination for travelers seeking an authentic and enriching experience. As we move forward and the world begins to open up again, Iran’s tourism industry is poised for a bright future.

Are you planning a trip to Yazd, Iran? If so, make sure to add a visit to the Cypress Abarkooh to your itinerary. Known as the second oldest tree in the world, the Cypress Abarkooh is a symbol of ancient Iran, and its history and significance are truly fascinating.

Located in the Abarkooh city of Yazd province, the Cypress Abarkooh has been estimated by scientists to be between 4,000 and 8,000 years old. Standing at a height of about 28 meters and with a trunk circumference of around 18 meters, this giant cypress is still green and hardy.

 Cypress Abarkooh, the Second Oldest Tree in the World
The Cypress Abarkooh, a symbol of ancient Iran, is estimated to be between 4,000 and 8,000 years old.

But the Cypress Abarkooh is more than just an old tree. It holds a special place in Iranian mythology, as it is said to be a symbol of Ahuramazda, the Zoroastrian god. In fact, the legend goes that the tree was first planted by him. Other legends believe that the tree has a soul, and that this spirit protects it.

The Yazd Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization is responsible for protecting the Cypress Abarkooh. To emphasize the importance of this natural wonder, the organization has erected a protective fence around it. The tree is also registered by the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran and is awaiting UNESCO approval for world registration.

When planning your trip to Yazd, don’t miss the opportunity to see the Cypress Abarkooh, which is located 140 km from Yazd. This living symbol of ancient Iran is truly a sight to behold, and its history and mythology will leave you in awe.

In summary, if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience, visit the Cypress Abarkooh and immerse yourself in the history and mythology of ancient Iran.

Nestled atop Mount Sabalan, the third highest peak in Iran, lies a mystical and sacred destination known as Lake Sabalan. This elliptical volcanic lake is approximately 15 meters deep and is a significant landmark that is steeped in history and culture. The peak of Mount Sabalan, which is 4811 meters above sea level, is regarded as a place of Zoroastrian mission, and many believe that the tomb of Zoroaster is located near Lake Sabalan under one of its boulders.

The natives of the surrounding area hold Lake Sabalan in high regard, and it is considered to be a sacred place. Even the name of the lake is used in swearing by locals. The lake’s water is supplied by rain and the melting snow of the peak, providing an excellent source of fresh water for locals and visitors alike.

Scenic View of Lake Sabalan at the Peak of Mount Sabalan in Iran
Experience the stunning natural beauty of Lake Sabalan, a sacred destination in Iran

The best time to visit Lake Sabalan is during the summer months, as the snow and ice that cover the peak of Mount Sabalan all year round, begin to thaw. The climb to the peak of Mount Sabalan and Lake Sabalan is challenging, and it is advisable to have prior experience climbing at altitudes above 4,000 meters.

The views from the top of Mount Sabalan are breathtaking, and the experience of standing atop the third-highest peak in Iran is one that is hard to beat. The climb to Lake Sabalan offers visitors a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the surrounding area, with stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape.

While at Lake Sabalan, visitors can take a stroll around the lake, enjoy a picnic on the banks, or simply bask in the tranquil and peaceful atmosphere. It’s worth noting that swimming in the lake is not advised, as the temperature of the water is quite low, even in the summer months.

In conclusion, Lake Sabalan is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Iran, and particularly for those who enjoy outdoor activities and adventure. It is a place of immense cultural and historical significance, and the climb to the top of Mount Sabalan provides a unique and unforgettable experience.

The majority of churches in Iran that possess historical and artistic value were built around the eight century A.H. or the 14th century AD, and the period thereafter. Of course, this does not mean that there were no churches existing in the country before that period.
During the reign of Shah Abbas, the Safavid king, his sagacious policies caused a sizable number of Armenians from Armenia and Azarbaijan to transfer and settle in Esfahan and other regions of Iran. A place called Jolfa was built on the banks of the Zayande-rud River in Esfahan and became the residence of these migrating people. Consequently, churches were erected in that town. Meanwhile, after a short lapse of time, some Armenians moved to Gilan and some resided in Shiraz.
After the death of Shah Abbas the First, his successor, Shah Abbas the Second, also paid close attention to the welfare of Armenians and more churches were erected in Jolfa. The influx of many Europeans during the reign of the Qajars led to the flourishing of other churches, in addition to those that were constructed previously. A number of these edifices have lasted and acquired architectural and artistic significance.
Azarbaijan is host to the oldest churches in Iran. Among the most significant are the Tatavous Vank (St. Tatavous Cathedral), which is also called the Ghara Kelissa (the black monastery). This is located at the Siahcheshmeh (Ghara-Eini) border area south of Makou. There is also the church known as Saint Stepanous, which stands 24 kilometers south of Azarbaijan’s Jolfa town.
Generally, each church has a large hall for congregational prayers; its foremost part is raised like a dais, adorned with the pictures or images of religious figures and it also serves as an altar. Here, candles are lit and the church mass is conducted by the priest. In the foreground is the praying congregation which faces the platform where the priest is leading the rites in the church; this is similar to the Muslim practice of praying facing the niche in the mosque. While the mass is being said, the people stand, kneel, or sit depending on what the rites require. The structure of churches in Iran follows more or less the pattern of Iranian architecture, or they are a mixture of Iranian and non-Iranian designs.

Churches in Iran

Interior of the Saint Stepanos Monastery.
Interior of the Saint Stepanos Monastery.

This is one of the old churches in Iran located at an intersection west of the Marand-Jolfa highway and east of the Khoy-Jolfa road. Also having a pyramidal dome, it is, nevertheless, quite beautiful and far more pleasant to behold than the Saint Tatavous church.
The general structure mostly resembles Armenian and Georgian architecture and the inside of the building is adorned with beautiful paintings by Honatanian, a renowned Armenian artist. Hayk Ajimian, an Armenian scholar and historian, recorded that the church was originally built in the ninth century AD, but repeated earthquakes in Azarbaijan completely eroded the previous structure. The church was rebuilt during the rule of Shah Abbas the Second.

Saint Mary’s Church in Tabriz

This church was built in the sixth century A.H. (12th century AD) and in his travel chronicles, Marco Polo, the famous Venetian traveler who lived during the eight century A.H. (14th century AD), referred to this church on his way to China. For so many years, Saint Mary’s served as the seat of the Azarbaijan Armenian Archbishop. It is a handsomely built edifice, with different annex buildings sprawled on a large area. A board of Armenian peers is governing the well- attended church.

Aside from the above three churches, there are others in Azarbaijan such as the old church built in the eight century A.H. at Modjanbar village, which is some 50 kilometers from Tabriz. Another one is the large Saint Sarkis church, situated in Khoy; this building has survived from the time of Shah Abbas the Second (12th century A.H.). During the reign of the said Safavid king, another edifice called the Saint Gevorg (Saint George) church was constructed, using marble stones and designed with a large dome, at Haft Van village near Shapur (Salmas). A church, also with a huge dome, likewise stands at Derishk village in the vicinity of Shapur, in Azarbaijan.

The Saint Tatavous Monastery or the Ghara Kelissa

Initially, this church in Iran comprised of a small hall with a pyramid- shaped dome on the top and 12 crevices similar to the Islamic dome-shaped buildings from the Mongol era. The difference was that the church dome was made of stone. The main part of this pyramid structure followed Byzantine (Eastern Roman) architecture, including the horizontal and parallel fringes made of white and black stones in the interior and black stones on the exterior facing.
Since the facade is dominated by black stones, the church was formerly called the Ghara Kelissa (or black monastery) by the natives. During the reign of the Qajar ruler, Fathalishah, new structures were added to the Saint Tatavous church upon the order of Abbas Mirza, the crown prince, and the governor of Azarbaijan. The renovations resulted in the enlargement of the prayer hall and the small old church was converted into a prayer platform, holding the altar, the holy ornaments and a place where the priest could lead the prayers.
The bell tower and the church entrance were situated at one side of the new building, but unfortunately, this part remained unfinished.
Meanwhile, due to border skirmishes and other political disturbances in the area during the succeeding periods, the church was abandoned and ruined. Some minor repairs have been carried out in recent years.
Each year, during a special season (in the summer), many Armenians from all parts of Iran travel to this site for prayer and pilgrimage. They come by jeeps or trucks after crossing a very rough mountainous passage.
They flock around the church, stay for a few days and perform their religions ceremonies. For the rest of the year, however, the church remains deserted in that remote area.
The additions made to the Saint Tatavous church on the order of Abbas Mirza consist of embossed images of the apostles on the facade and decorations of flowers, bushes, lion and sun figures and arabesques, all of which had been done by Iranian craftsmen. The architecture of the church interior is a combination of Byzantine, Armenian and Georgian designs. Beside the large church, special chambers have been built in the yard to shelter pilgrims and hermits.

Historical Churches at Jolfa of Esfahan

The most important historical church in Iran is the old cathedral, commonly referred to as the Vank (which means “cathedral” in the Armenian language). This large building was constructed during the reign of Shah Abbas the First and completely reflects Iranian architecture. It has a double-layer brick dome that is very much similar to those built by the Safavids. The interior of the church is decorated with glorious and beautiful paintings and miniature works that represent biblical traditions and the image of angels and apostles, all of which have been executed in a mixture of Iranian and Italian styles. The ceiling and walls are coated with tiles from the Safavid epoch.
At a corner of the large courtyard of the cathedral, offices and halls have been built to accommodate guests, the Esfahan archbishop and his retinue, as well as other important Armenian religious hierarchy in Iran. The church compound also includes a museum that is located in a separate building. The museum displays preserved historical records and relics, and the edicts of Iranian kings dating back to the time of Shah Abbas the First. It also contains an interesting collection of art work.
Esfahan has other historical churches, the most important of which is the Church of Beit-ol Lahm (Bethlehem) at Nazar Avenue. There are also the Saint Mary church at Jolfa Square and the Yerevan church in the Yerevan area.

The Armenian Church in Shiraz

In the eastern section of Ghaani Avenue, in a district called “Sare Jouye Aramaneh”, an interesting building has survived from the era of Shah Abbas the Second. Its principal structure stands in the midst of a gardenlike compound and consists of a prayer hall with a lofty flat ceiling and several cells flanking the two side of the building. The ceiling is decorated with original paintings from the Safavid era and the adjoining cells are adorned with niches and arches and plaster molding, also in the Safavid style. This is considered a historical monument at Shiraz and definitely worth a visit.

Saint Simon’s Church in Shiraz

This is another relatively important, but not so old church in Shiraz. The large hall is completely done in Iranian style while the roof is Roman. Small barrel-shaped vaults, many Iranian art work and stained-glass window panes adorn the church. Meanwhile, another church called the Glory of Christ, stands at Ghalat, 34 kilometers from Shiraz. This building has survived from the Qajar period and is surrounded by charming gardens.

Saint Tatavous Church, Tehran

This edifice is located at the Chaleh Meidan district, one of the oldest districts in Tehran. It stands south of the Seyed Esmail Mausoleum, at the beginning of the northern part of the so-called Armenians’ Street. The oldest church of Tehran, it was built during the reign of the Qajar king, Fathalishah. The building has a dome-shaped roof and four alcoves, an altar and a special chair reserved for the Armenian religions leader or prelate. The vestibule leading to the church contains the graves of prominent non-Iranian Christians who have died in Iran, and in the middle of the churchyard, Gribaydof, the Czarist ambassador at the court of Fathalishah, and his companions were laid to rest. They were killed by the revolutionary forces of Tehran at that time.
Meanwhile in Bushehr, there is a church from the Qajar period that is a good specimen of Iranian architecture. All the windows are modeled after old Iranian buildings and the colored panes are purely Iranian art work.
There are also many other churches in Iran such as Ourumieh, in hamlets surrounding Arasbaran, Ardabil, Maragheh, Naqadeh, Qazvin, Hameadan, Khuzestan, Chaharmahal, Arak, in the old Vanak village north of Tehran, etc. These churches, though, are all deserted and are of little artistic significance.

For centuries, Mesopotamia was thought to be the world’s oldest civilization. This was generally accepted by most people until a 5,000-year old temple was discovered in Jiroft Historical Site in Iran’s southern Kerman province, prompting archaeologists to identify the region as the world’s oldest cradle of human civilization.
A hundred and twenty historical sites have been identified in the basin of a 400 kilometer stretch of Halil-Rud River in the south of Kerman province. One of these is at Konar Sandal (sites A & B),
two mounds a short drive from Jiroft town-center. Jiroft is 230-kilometres south of the city of Kerman and was previously known as Sabzevaran, a name that describes the verdant fertile valley plain of the Halil River. Indeed, the plain by Iranian standards is so green and fertile that it is called ‘Hend-e Kuchak’ meaning little India. Jiroft is also one of the hottest towns in Iran. A temperature of 57 °C / 135 °F was recorded in August 1933.
Not far from Konar Sandal, flash floods from the Halil River in the year 2000 swept away the topsoil revealing yet another site, this one consisting of a large number of ancient graves. The excavations at Konar Sandal site have also revealed the ruins of a city a kilometer and a half (about a mile) in diameter.

Konar Sandal Site & Mounds Near Jiroft

The ruins of the ancient settlements at or near Jiroft are said to have been home to a people who inhabited the area in 2200 or 2300 BCE – an era in history when writing first began to flourish and traders carried spices and grain, gold, lapis lazuli and ideas along the Aryan trade roads that radiated from Central Asia to the Nile, Indus and China.
The mounds or tepes at Jiroft are also called “Qal’eh Kuchak” meaning little head. In addition, there are the two mounds, site A that is said to be a ziggurat-like structure 17 meters (54′) high and 400 meters (1280′) on each side at the base, and site B that is said to be a two-story citadel with a base covering nearly 13.5 hectares (33 acres) surrounded by a fortress wall 10.5 meters (34′) thick. A ziggurat suggests a pyramid-like structure consisting of tiered platforms, and a citadel suggest a fortified building. The two sites A & B are a couple of kilometers apart

Water Supply

French geomorphologist Éric Fouache, an expert on reading the strata underlying the archaeological sites, has discovered a network of artesian wells that would have supplied abundant water for irrigation and drinking even when the Halil River ran dry. With these sources of water, the inhabitants developed an agriculture based on date palms and Palm groves provided shade for further planting.


Chris Sloan at the National Geographic blog site writes, “And at the “citadel,” Konar Sandal B, archaeologists have uncovered a life size, or larger, human figure sculpted from mud or mud brick.
It had been painted to look like it was wearing a feline pelt. If this sculpture is associated with Bronze Age layers, it will be among the earliest of such figures in the world. Unfortunately, it is missing its head. The earliest known statue of this sort from Egypt, and I believe the world, is from Hierakonpolis. It dates from 3000 B.C, It is also incomplete, but in much worse shape and It is in over 500 pieces.”

Jiroft culture bronze vase
Jiroft culture bronze vase


The artefacts found include twenty-five two to five centimeter (7/8″–2″) long stamp and cylinder seal impressions that depict bulls, ibex, lions, snakes, human figures – and writing. It should be noted that some of the finds related to ‘writing’ are thought by other archaeologists to be forgeries.
Other finds are a large number (tens of thousands) of carved and decorated vases, cups, goblets and boxes made from a soft, fine-grained, durable gray-greenish stone called chlorite

Looting of Treasures & History Lost Forever

After the floods in 2000 revealed the site and its artefacts, local farmers looted what they could find and sold them to unscrupulous dealers for a pittance.
The looters work by digging indiscriminate holes or digging up graves which are rich in buried artefacts. It is estimated that there are 10,000 holes dug by the looters – craters that scare the landscape.
It was only in the fall of 2002, that the Iranian government stepped in to halt the looting and seized hundreds of stolen artefacts. However, despite the crackdown on pillaging and the hiring of a dozen armed guards, sadly, theft at Jiroft still continues and local rumors abound about the looting of gold and other priceless items.Even when stolen artefacts are recovered, many will have been damaged irreparably by the careless removing of caked on soil. Their contextual identity will also it all probability have been lost. Because the artefacts were removed from their setting and the attached material that could have been dated by scientific instruments removed, the history or information these treasures have may have carried with them will, sadly, be lost forever.

Chlorite Artefacts

The large number of chlorite artefacts discovered lends itself to the theory that Jiroft had several prolific chlorite workshops that manufactured the items in quantities that exceeded local demand and were prepared for export. Indeed, chlorite vessels similar to those found at Jiroft have been found from the Euphrates to the Indus, as far north as the Amu Darya and as far south as Tarut Island, on the Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia. While there is nothing at present to directly link the Jiroft artefacts with the others, there is certainly the possibility of a link. Perhaps the link can be explored and established by finding common styles. The Jiroft artisans had a unique naturalistic design style.
Chlorite is a stone similar to steatite and soapstone. It is durable but soft enough to carve easily, and fine-grained enough to hold carved details well. Its color ranges from jade green (which gives it its name) to smoky gray, to black as obsidian. While there are chlorite deposits in mountains across Iran, only one ancient chlorite quarry has been found in Tepe Yahya some 90 kilometers (50 miles) from Jiroft. The other old chlorite quarry that has been discovered in the region, is on Tarut Island – an island located across the Persian Gulf along the Arabian coast (near present-day Bahrain and some 800 kilometers east-south-east of Jiroft).

Trade Links Along The Aryan Trade Roads

The trade links between Jiroft and all the centers along the Aryan trade roads is further indicated by the discovery of objects inlaid with lapis lazuli (likely from Afghanistan), carnelian (possibly from the Indus Valley), and other semiprecious stones not local to the area. Marjan Mashkur, an Iranian researcher based in Paris, discovered at Jiroft shark bones and shells that appear to have been brought inland from the Gulf which is some 200 kilometers (120 miles) of the south of Jiroft.
In addition to items made from chlorite, the Jiroft artisans also made pink and orange alabaster jars, white marble vases, copper figurines, beakers and a striking copper basin with a eagle seated in its center, as well as realistic carved stone impressions of heraldic eagles, scorpions and scorpion-women.


The Ancient Civilization of Jiroft

Persian Gulf or Pars Sea, which runs along the Oman Sea and between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula. Its area is 233,000 square kilometers, and after the Gulf of Mexico and the Hudson Bay, the third largest gulf in the world. The Persian Gulf travels east from Hormuz Strait and the Oman Sea to the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea and ends from the west to the Delta of the Arvandrood River, which is the result of the interconnection of the two rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates, and the adjoining Karun River, the Persian Gulf The ancient Iran and Arab countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Iraq have a common blue border. Since, on the one hand, Iran has the most common water border in the Persian Gulf and, on the other hand, has played a major role in the formation of the ancient civilization of this region. Also, during the history of the control and dominance of the Persian Gulf has been to Iranians. It is considered as the main heritage of this region on Iran, and its most characteristic feature is the name of this water zone, which has been registered in the name of Iranians during the last three thousand years.

History of Persian Gulf

The Assyrians, before reaching Iranian plateau, called the Persian Gulf “narmarratu”, meaning “bitter river,” and apparently this is the oldest name remaining from it. After the victory of the Persian Empire on its neighboring states and the formation of the Achaemenid Empire, the river was called Pars Sea. From Darius I to the inscription found next to the Suez Canal, dating back to 500 BC. The term “drya tyahache parsa” refers to the sea, which is referred to as the Pars Sea, which refers to the Persian Gulf.

The Greeks were the first people to call this sea called “Pers” and to the land of Iran “Parsei”, “Persia” and Persepolis, means the country of Parsian (Chaste People). And most of the Greek and Roman historians of that time have mentioned this sea called the Persian Gulf.

In the twentieth century, with the development of geographical information, along with the printing of maps in many different languages, the combination of the Persian Gulf has become universally applicable, from this point of view, the twentieth century can be considered a century of using the composition of the Persian Gulf. This waterway is in Persian language “Khaleej Fars”, in Arabic “Al-Khaleej al-Farsi”, in French “GolF persique”, in Turkish “Farhor Farzi”, and the same way, with a slight change in the priority of combining components, in all the languages of the world. has it.

Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran. This image is a combination of two images acquired by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper on NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite
Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz, Iran. This image is a combination of two images acquired by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper on NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite

Islands of Persian Gulf

The Persian Gulf is home to many small islands. Bahrain, an island in the Persian Gulf, is itself a Arab state. Geographically the biggest island in the Persian Gulf is Qeshm island located in the Strait of Hormuz and belonging to Iran. Other significant islands include Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Kish administered by Iran, Bubiyan administered by Kuwait, Tarout administered by Saudi Arabia, and Dalma administered by UAE. In recent years, there has also been addition of artificial islands, often created by Arab states such as UAE for commercial reasons or as tourist resorts. Although very small, these artificial islands have had a negative impact on the mangrove habitats upon which they are built, often causing unpredictable environmental issues. Persian Gulf islands are often also historically significant, having been used in the past by colonial powers such as the Portuguese and the British in their trade or as acquisitions for their empires.

Cities & Population

Eight nations have coasts along the Persian Gulf: Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The gulf’s strategic location has made it an ideal place for human development over time. Today, many major cities of the Middle East are located in this region.

National day of Persian Gulf

The Islamic Republic of Iran designated April 30th as the “National Day of Persian Gulf” and has also issued a series of stamps commemorating.


Taq-e Bostan ( in Kermanshahi Kurdish  “ Taq Ve Saan” with the meaning of the Arched made by stone)  is a collection of petroglyphs and Sassanid inscriptions that are located in the west of Iran and northwestern of Kermanshah city. This complex was built in the third century AD and has many historical and artistic values. Some Historic scenes, such as Khosrow Parviz Coronation, Artaxerxes II’s coronation, the second and third Shahpur coronations, and also some inscriptions by the line of the Pahlavi inscription are carving inside it. The existence of mountain and the fountain inside this place made there as a cheerful walkway that has been considered since the long times ago until today.

History of  Taq-e Bostan    

Taq-e Bostan in the Kermanshahi Language (Kurdish) is “ Taq Ve Saan”. “Taq”  is with the meaning of  “vault”, “Ve” is “from” and “Saan” is the stone. And in this way, “Taq Ve Saan” means the “Stony Vault ”. This complex was built in the third century AD. Sassanid kings first chose the area around Persepolis to shave their sculptures, but from the time of Artaxerxes II, and the kings after him, they chose Taq-e Bostan either that was located between the way of Silk Road with the Green and full of water nature.

Art paints and music in Taq-e Bostan  

Taq-e Bostan royal hunting ground Petroglyph is the first stone panel with the accordance with the rules and principles of painting that counts in the world. In this carvings, Khosrow ride on Shabdez is on the way that you think the effect has come from the other paint. Also in the large vault, there are some effects from the women musician whom they are busy on playing the harp and wind instruments. In the other part of the large vault, the Boar hunting scenes have to be seen that it is from the movement and the show is among the masterpieces of the art of petrography that is in the way of Art near the art of painting on the wall.

Used Clothes & Footwear in Taq-e Bostan  

With the analytical study in the reliefs of the Taq-e Bostan, the colorful dress of the ride has been woven with golden threads and they have rhombic style and the decorated is perfectly geometrical. In the Boar hunting scene, the king has a clothing on his body that has decorated with the role of the Simorq in the circular signs. The clothes of Rowers have also dramatic roles. In a prominent role in the lateral wall of Taq-e Bostan, ceremonial Ornaments of the king robes, who sits on the throne inside the central of Shamma carving in the glaze form of crystalline and with the variety of the gold Embroidered and Embroidered flowers near each other, has great decoration and the clothes of followers and elephant rides has Hand sewing with plants and birds paintings.

Sections of Taq-e Bostan  

This relief is the first reliefs of the Taq-e Bostan that is located near the small vault. There is a Petroglyph in the right hand of the small vault that shows the scene of the coronation of Artaxerxes II  ninth Sassanid king.  In this scene, the Sasanid king with the standing mood, three quadrant face and all ROC body painted in the central of the scene that the left hand is on the Hilt and with the right hand gave the Ribbon ring from the Ahuramazda, while Zoroaster or we can say Mitra with the Halo of  light is located on the left hand behind him. Under the foot of Artaxerxes II, Roman emperor Julian whom he is captured in the war is located. Sassanid king has large eyes with the prominent eyebrows. He has the curly beard and he has in bulk hair that Hung on his shoulders. He has Earrings on his ears, a necklace on the neck and bracelet on the wrist. His Earrings are in the shape of the circular ring and small balls are hanging from them. Also, his Necklaces has a row of coarse pearl beads.  Evidently Amesha Spenta was the interface among human and Ahuramazda , and Hooman (Bahaman) what we read in the excerpts Zatsperm : (( Hooman carried Zoroaster to the high beautiful sky that all of it was the bright, it was the Eternal Light and Topless, it was Ahuramazda as a pure light. )) So the picture behind the head of Artaxerxes II is Amesha Spenta and Hooman.

Great vault in Great vault

The most important effect in the Taq-e Bostan is the Great vault with the Petroglyph of Khosrow Parviz coronation that it has a porch with the rectangular space (seven meters and eighty-five centimeters width , eleven meter and ninety centimeters height , seven meter and sixty five centimeters depth) that is located near the entrance of the vault, Petroglyph of winged angels, life tree , Boar hunting events , hunting birds and fish in the marsh and the paints of elephants, horses, and boats that they are suggests feasting and happiness ceremony.

Under the paint of  Khosrow Parviz coronation, armored riding on horseback is located.

In this picture, the king is among and Forouhar is located on the right hand of him. Forouhar has the jagged crown on his head and gives the Izadi far ring to the king. King garments (Shah garments) and image of Forouhar are partially identical. Both of them have corrugated pants on foot that they are sticking to their ankle by wrapping. Also, both of them have the belt and a bracelet. Mitra is located on the left hand of the king.

You can see three statues in the great vault. The king is among, Forouhar is on the right hand of him that is like the Artaxerxes II’s coronation and Anahita is on the left hand of the king. Anahita is the Goddess of water and symbol of Flourishing and greenery.

Small Vault in Taq-e Bostan

The small Vault is located in among of coronation petroglyph of Artaxerxes II and the great vault and it has rectangular space with width of five meters and eighty centimeters and the height of five meters and thirty centimeters with the pictures of coronation ceremonies of second and third Shahpur, This vault has two figure in the top wall of the vault and two Epigraphs. These Epigraphs are in the Line of inscription Pahlavi.

Injuries in Taq-e Bostan

Human Injuries
Prominent figure of Mohammad Ali Mirza

Unfortunately, in the period of Qajar, some manipulation have been made on top of this very exquisite carvings panel and they have carving images and had Great damages to Taq-e Bostan . The picture of the one selfish king in the Qajar period that he wanted to have one memento from his self under this vault.  This carving shows the status of the Mohamad Ali Dolatshah the son of Fath Ali the king of Qajar. This picture is very inappropriate and worthless.

Masoudieh Mansion

There were the building related to the Qajar era in around of the Taq-e Bostan until 1342 that were known to the Masoudieh Mansion that was built by Imam Quli Mirza imadudole and was destroyed to indicate the artefacts and dumping Anahita fountains.

Natural Harms

Because of the movement of the ground in this part cracks were appeared in the large and small vaults that over time, and with gathering moss on the walls of that they cause fade part of the designs in these vaults and because of gathering the water in the gaps this process has resonant and make the archaeologists think about repair of the mansion.