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Astonishing Mortarless architecture of Palace of Cyrus the Great in Charkhab


19 February 2005



Mortarless construction is only possible nowadays through the use of industrial lathes, thus the use of the technique in the Palace of Cyrus the Great in Charkhab, Bushehr Province shows the expertise of Iranian architects of the sixth century B.C.

Experts say that the method of cutting, polishing, and joining the stones and making use of various colors and the system of insulation in the Achaemenid structure are also evident in Persepolis and Pasargadae.


The palace in Charkhab near Borazjan is a unique example of ancient Iranian architecture.


Architect Seyed Amir Mansuri believes that the major characteristic of the palace is the technique used in the bases of the square stone columns.


“The columns were precisely cut and polished and skillfully joined to one another without using any other devices or any kind of mortar. They were attached to each other as if they were not separate pieces at all,” he said.


The other interesting point is the variety of colors used in the columns, he noted, adding that the technique of cutting and polishing gave the experts the opportunity to make use of the two different colors of black and white, while the other two palaces of Persepolis and Pasargadae, which were built in the same era, were constructed with only monochromatic stone columns.


Mansuri also pointed out that a kind of two-layer brick was also used in the architecture of the palace.


“The inside of the bricks was made of unbaked clay while the outer part was made of terra cotta, which played a major role in insulation and increasing the resistance of the structure against every kind of pressure.”


The Palace of Cyrus the Great in Charkhab is an example of a unique style of architecture which can shed light on hidden aspects of ancient Iranian architecture.  



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