Sukhteh and its Geographical Relation to Persian
have raised a new hypothesis for the foundation of
the 2500 year-old Achaemenid city of
Dahaneh-gholaman, located in a gorge with the same
name in the Sistan-Baluchistan province. They
believe that the city was built based on a plan
and not formed as a result of the expansion of
This is the first time that such hypothesis is put
forward for the foundation of an ancient city.
Dahaneh-gholaman, discovered in 1960 by Italian
archeologists near Zabol, consists of buildings
set up on high lands, above arable lands, so that
the houses would be protected against the
threatening seasonal floods of Hirmand River.
The city includes 27 notable buildings, such as a
religious and an industrial one, and some
residential ones, considered one of the major
capitals and industrial centers of the Achaemenid
The architecture of the city is evidence that
unlike other ancient sites, Dahaneh-gholaman is
built based on plans, head of the excavation team
of the site and of the Burnt City, Mansour Sajjadi
The ancient sites dating to the prehistoric times
to the Achaemenids do not provide any signs of
being formed on any specific architectural plat.
They were primarily small villages, which later
turned into cities when the population gradually
grew. But new studies of the Dahaneh-gholaman show
that the foundation of the city was preplanned and
it was built based on a unique plat.
According to Sajjadi, the largeness of most of the
structures shows that the city was once an
Another important factor about the city is that
the residential buildings are located next to the
governmental, social, and religious ones, unlike
for example the Persepolis where the residences
and the palaces are separate from each other,
making the site a palace-city.
In Persepolis, architectural maps where used just
for the key buildings of the site such as the
palaces, leaving the houses unnoticed. But in
Dahaneh-gholaman even the smallest valleys and
residences have been set up based on a plan.
The city is 1500 meter long and 800 meter wide,
but archaeologists suggest that it was once
larger, with some parts destroyed and worn out due
to sand storms and passage of time.