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Restoration Works Began in Takht-e Soleyman



 09 August 2005



The northern gate of the historical site of Takht-e Soleyman, West Azarbaijan province, is undergoing restorations for the first time ever after 12 years of pathology and archaeological studies.

The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sassanid period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Goddess Anahita. It was inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List in 2003.

After 12 years of extensive studies on the materials of the structure and pathology studies, the project to restore the heritage has now started from its northern gate.

According to head of the project, Ibrahim Heidari, the significance of the northern gate is due to the fact that Zoroastrian pilgrims used it as the main entrance to their annual prayer ceremony held in summer and the deployment of management forces, including guards, Zoroastrian priests, attendants, etc. there.

“The northern gate is similar in form to the eastern one and is just 20 centimeters shorter. Both gates date back to the Sassanid era, however, the northern gate has been vastly damaged during the years,” explained Heidari, adding that the vicinities of the gate have been archaeologically excavated and many of its collapsed building stones found.

Takht-e Soleyman is the largest religious social complex of the Sassanid dynasty discovered in Iran proper. It was nearly deserted when Arabs invaded the country and with the Ilkhanids reigning the region, the site underwent extensive repair works and constructions to transform it into a historical capital and recreational center. Later on, the city lost its importance, yet survived until the 17th century, when the site was deserted and preserved due to a popular belief that known it to be related to mythical King Solomon.




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