The Karaftou Cave, near Eivan Dareh in
the western province of Kurdestan, has overcome its
years of solitude and is recently receiving special
attention from the Cultural Heritage Organization, with archaeologists and workers trying round the clock to
restore and revive it.
The current entrance of the cave is located 25 meters up
the ground level, but its main entrance, or exit way,
has not yet been discovered, and archaeologists are still
casting about in their search.
The cave holds remembrances of prehistoric humans,
scripts of primitive humans on its walls, as it has been
residential up to the Ilkhanid era with people
frequenting it from the beginning of the Troglodytic up
to the Islamic era. Also a Greek Roman inscription
proves the Seleucids had visited it.
Built in four stories, it displays the characteristics
of different periods, and is considered unique due to
Karaftou has been reconsidered by archaeologists since
1999 after being left derelict for almost 86 years.
According to archaeologist Mansour Mostafavi, the most
important dark points about the cave are the location of
its entrance or exit way, the prison inside and the
historical relation of the cave with the stone image of
three Roman statues located in the area opposite it.
Experts believe Karaftou, now part of Iran’s National
Heritage, should be added to the World Heritage List
given the significance of human residence there, its
Geek inscription and surprising architecture.
An archaeological site has been set up in the area and a
scheme aimed at setting up tourist facilities nearby is
gradually being completed.
Karaftou is a lime cave, which was underwater in the
Mesozoic period, but little by little humans resided
there, cutting stones, building hallways and making
other changes, which have remained as signs of its human