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Discovery of Sasanid Mortar Formula


12 August 2005



Thanks to laboratory examinations conducted by a research team of experts, constituent elements of an ancient mortar used during Sasanid dynasty around 1500 years ago, were unveiled.

Sasanid era, which is one of the most prominent of Iranian history, is referred to an approximately 400-year period which is marked by the reign of Sasanid Emperors. During this era numerous important buildings and cities were constructed around the Empire including some palaces, lots of which still exist.

Amir Pirouz Daghoughi, head of Sarvestan palace project said, “In cooperation with a team of experts from the Research Centre for Preservation of Historical Monuments and Contexts, we managed to find out that the mortar used in Sasanid era was composed of 98 percent of plaster and 2 percent of impurities consisting lime, wood charcoal, and brownish mineral sand.”

“The resistance of this mortar is even more than some hard materials like bricks. Moreover, similar to concrete, the mortar’s resistance increase as time passes,” he indicated.

A while ago, archaeologists working in Sarvestan palace archaeological site unearthed the remains of ancient gypsum quarries and old gypsum kilns which were used in preparing the mortar.

Experts believe this new discovery can greatly contribute to restoration works on Sasanid monuments.

Previously, archaeologists had managed to discover the method and procedure to make this mortar which mixes raw, semi burnt, and burnt gypsum.

Being an archaeological complex now, Sarvestan palace, topped with a brick dome which is now considered to be the oldest of the kind in the country, was built during the reign of Bahram Gur, one of Sasanid king of kings.

Located in Fars province, south of Iran, this palace is situated amid a plain 9 kilometers south of Sarvestan town.

In the last 2 years, this palace has been the subject of several researches, studies, and excavation during which experts succeeded in discovering monuments and architectural remains of both Sasanid and Islamic era.

Besides its unique splendor in architecture, this magnificent palace was also revered a sacred place during Sasanid dynasty. The building of Sarvestan palace consists of different parts including an entrance porch, a dome, and a court yard. As compared to other palaces and mansions of the same time, this palace enjoys a more complicated and advanced architectural plan.




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