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Historical Clues to Sasanian Era in Bandian Fire Temple




23 August 2003

Dr. Mehdi Rahbar


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 these residences.

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 it.

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.




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