discovery of one fire temple and several mansions in Sarvestan
Palace, one of the most awe-inspiring monuments of the Sasanid
era (226-651), has helped Iranian archaeologists to learn more
facts about the historical complex.
Housing Iran’s oldest brick cupola, the palace was built
during the reign of Bahram "Gur" (The Zebra-Hunter,
420-438 A.D.) as a leisure mansion. Mehrnevsi, his well-known
minister ordered the construction of this palace. It has one
entrance corridor (ivan) and the dome is located in the center
of the building. Located in Fars Province, it is made of brick,
stone and plaster.
Initially archaeologists could guess that there might be more
architectural structures in addition to the main palace. “The
site was just explored prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution,
after which the work stopped and we had no vivid picture of the
palace,” said Amir Pirooz Daghoghi, head of the project.
“The new research, however, has led us to unearth a temple and
several construct, adding more pieces to the puzzle.”
The presence of a temple beside the main palace clearly
indicates the significance of Sarvestan during the Sasanid era,
he added, further saying, “The sanctuary’s area is 900
square meters, pointing to the eminence of the palace complex in
that era. We also believe the mansion served as resorts for
high-ranking officials and other dignitaries.”
The Sasanids established an empire roughly within the frontiers
achieved by the Achaemenids, with the capital at Ctesiphon. The Sasanids
consciously sought to resuscitate Iranian traditions and to
obliterate Greek cultural influence. Their rule was
characterized by considerable centralization, ambitious urban
planning, agricultural development, and technological
Sasanid rule and the system of social stratification were
reinforced by Zoroastrian religion, which became the state
religion. The Zoroastrian priesthood became immensely powerful.
The head of the priestly class (the Mobedan), Mobed, along with
the military commander, the Eran Espahbod, and the head of the
bureaucracy, were among the great men of the state.