Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
Clues to Sasanian Era in Bandian Fire Temple
Head of the excavation group in Bandian
fire temple Dr. Mehdi Rahbar called it one of the most
important fire temples in the world and said that the
group is doing its best to complete the ninth season of
excavations at the target date of November 2003.
"The fire temple, dating back to the year 425 AD,
the reign of Bahram V, has a large hall which was used
for the gatherings and ritual ceremonies by Zoroastrians
at the time. At the back of the hall there is a large
arena that according to archeologists was used for
audience attending the fire rituals by Zoroastrians.
Also there is a round space for purification
rituals," explained Rahbar.
During the eighth season of excavation works a small
hill with remnants of a 3-meter high, 20-meter wide
tower which dates back to the Sasanian era has been
discovered near the fire temple. The tower called
Khamoosh Tower in Zoroastrianism was used as the burial
place and studies on this site could lead to an
understanding of some of the beliefs of the Zoroastrians
and their idea of death.
Dr. Rahbar said experts believe vast farmlands around
the temple indicate that people have resided in the area
and the current phase of excavations aims to discover
So far archeologists have not found any objects in the
place and they believe that an invading people might
have attacked the fire temple, plundering and ruining
The historical site of Bandian is located north of the
northeastern province of Khorasan, 120 kilometers from
Ghouchan and two kilometers northwest of the border city
of Dareh Gaz, 20 kilometers from Iran's border with
Turkmenistan, and has a population of 50,000. Bandian
has been part of Iran since the Achaemenid era.
is the Light on the Path to Future"
British Institute of Persian Studies