Hassan Sabah fort is considered the largest citadel of the
Ismailite sect in Iran which has so far been explored in
two archaeological seasons. The Assassins (or Hashisham )
were a Persian Ismai'ili sect created by Hassan Sabbah in
1090. Like many Order and Secret Societies throughout the
ages, the actual history and practices have been blended
or bastardized by folk-lore and myth.
a third season of exploration is underway in the
historical monument, near Qazvin in west central Iran,
aimed at securing and protecting the fort as well as
identifying its biological, structural and architectural
Once the stronghold of Hassan Sabah, the leader of the
sect, the fort is divided into two upper and lower parts.
The upper part was used as the residential section while
the lower part served as its outlet to the outside world
and housed industrial activities.
Head of the exploration team Dr. Hamid Chubak noted in
this season, efforts were made to find the main entrance
to the fort, draw its plan, identify its structural
periods and supporting the walls in order to secure the
He said identification of four structural periods,
discovery of architectural relics, kilns, industrial
ovens, metal works, bakery, etc. were among the major
finds of the two previous seasons.
The Hassan Sabah fort sits atop a hill some 160 meters
above the adjacent ground. It is thought to have been a
major Iranian historical and cultural hub since the 10th
century until the end of the Safavid period.
Its unique advantages, including its invincibility,
command over its environing land and enough water and food
stocks, encouraged Hassan Sabah to take shelter in the
fort for some 35 years in the 11th century until his