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Discovery of a Late-Parthian or Early-Sasanian Fire Temple in Kermanshah


News Category: Arsacid-Sasanian Dynasties

 22 November 2005



Archaeologists working behind the Shian Dam in Kermanshah have unearthed the second fire temple in that region, belonging to the late-Parthian or early Sasanian dynastic eras. 


There is no record of such a temple in historical accounts.


“This fire-Temple with its unique stucco decorations is one of the largest fire-temples that has ever been discovered in that part of mainland-Iran located in one of the settlements near the Shian Dam. The plan, type and architectural elements such as water canals leading into the temple demonstrates that it was not only denoted to the Lord Ahura-Mazda, but also to the two Zoroastrian Yazads, Anahita and Mithra”, Hassan Rezvani, the head of the archaeological rescue-operation team has stated in a news conference.


“Evidently after the Arab invasion of Iran the fire temple was partly demolished to prepare the way for construction of a mosque, and the surrounding areas were used as a burial ground”, he added.


He stated, “The discovery of a column, water canals, and earthenware decorated with bull and the “Wheel of Sun/Mithra” (Swastika) pointing out to its Anahita and Mithraic cultic connection.”


Rezvani concluded, “Since the construction is a Zoroastrian fire-temple, a place for worshiping the God Ahura-Mazda, as well as venerating the Anahita and Mithra, we can date its’ construction to the late Parthian or early Sasanian dynastic eras”, i.e. prior to the Emperor Ardeshir’s (the founder of Sasanian dynasty) iconoclastic movement.


Archaeologists believe that the flowing Shian fountainhead encouraged the first settlements in the region in about 2400 BCE. They have identified a great number of historical and ancient sites in the region from the Parthian to the Post-Sasanian periods.


Shian Dam is scheduled to come on stream in 2007, which will submerge all these eminent historical sites and Iranians will be deprived of their Pre-Islamic heritage in that region forever.


Source: ISNA




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