the discovery of a sextant in the legendary castle of
Alamut in central Iran, experts now believe Hassan Sabbah,
the leader of Ismaili sect, has been an astronomer.
Historical documents assert he was a scientist who dabbled
in all major science fields of his lifetime, including
medicine, architecture and astronomy.
“During recent excavations in Alamut, archaeologists have
discovered some pieces of metal, including a circular and
flat plate. After some studies, they concluded it was a
sextant,” said Hamideh Chobak, head of the research
Now Iranian experts speculate that the theory
long-maintained about Sabbah’s astronomical pursuits
could be verified. “In Iran’s history of astronomy,
Sabbah is not mentioned as an astronomer, but since he was
a famed weather forecaster and was a close friend to
Iranian scholar and poet Hakim Umar Khayyam, we could
guess he dealt with the science as well,” noted Zahra
Mobeini, research manager at Tehran’s Astronomical
Hasan Sabbah (circa 1034 - 1124), or “The Old Man of the
Mountain”, was the charismatic leader of the Hashshashin,
an Islamic mystery cult, known to us as the Assassins.