Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS©
subterranean village discovered near Maragheh
archaeologists have discovered a village of Parthian period,
under the earth near the Mehr Temple of the northwestern city of
Maragheh, the director of the Maragheh Cultural Heritage and
Tourism Department said on Wednesday.
“Since the Mehr Temple is one of the little known sites of
Iran, our team planned to carry out some excavations around it
to ascertain some details about the temple. The excavations
resulted in the discovery of an underground village which
archaeologists believe dates back to the Parthian era,” Nasser
The Mehr Temple, which was constructed in the Parthian dynasty
(247 B.C.–224 C.E.), is located 65 kilometers from the city of
Maragheh in East Azarbaijan Province. It was one of the main
temples of the religion of Mithraism in ancient Iran.
The village is located at a depth of one meter below ground
level and some holes were used as entrances into the underground
community, he said.
“A number of houses of the village of Varju’i are located
above the underground village. We plan to buy the houses to
protect the area for additional studies,” Zavvari said.
Several months ago, archaeologists announced they had discovered
a three-story underground shelter from the Sasanid dynasty in
southern Isfahan Province. Their initial study indicated that
the shelter was built for military purposes and could hide about
The underground shelter has seven halls as well as three large
and two small rooms. Each floor was linked to the other through
several holes and a staircase leads to the main entrance of the
Archaeologists have determined that earthenware discovered
inside the shelter dates back to the Sasanid dynasty (226-651
In addition, a team of archaeologists has recently unearthed
another underground city near Nushabad, Isfahan Province.
Experts believe study of the newly discovered ancient
subterranean communities can provide valuable information about
the architecture of ancient Iran. Thus, a new field of study
called subterranean or hand-dug architecture has been
is the Light on the Path to Future"
British Institute of Persian Studies