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New Hypothesis for Foundation of Dahaneh-Gholaman


01 March 2005


Shahr-e Sukhteh and its Geographical Relation to Persian Gulf



Archaeologists 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 small villages.

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 times.

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 told CHN.

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 industrial center.

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.




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