Gholaman (Slaves Entrance/Gate) situated in the southeastern
Sistan area, a city dating back to Achaemenid dynasty, was
first discovered by an Italian archaeologist, Umberto
Scerrato in 1965.
The historical site in this
ancient city dubbed "Slaves Gate" known as the
only city of the era inhabited by people, is situated
about 44 kms from the provincial city of Zabol near Hamoun
Lake and two kms from the village of Qale-No near the
township of Zehak.
The residential, religious
and industrial Dahan-e Gholaman area reminiscent of
Achaemenid dynasty measuring 1,500x500 meters was a
conventional city. It was eventually buried under a layer
of flowing sand caused by a harsh wind blow.
The "Slaves Gate"
was one of the 28 bases of the great Achaemenid Empire,
which has been repeatedly mentioned in various books and
texts along with other significant cities and monuments.
Unlike other monuments of
Achaemenid period mostly comprising large palaces resided
by the kings and princes, Dahan-e Gholaman was the
residence of common people and the only city serving as a
residential area during the rule of Achaemenid dynasty.
The historical city is
known for its indigenous and traditional architecture and
the building materials used in constructing the unearthed
monuments mostly consist of unbaked raw mud.
Some 28 ancient monuments
have already been identified by archaeologists at the
site, including the great temple and praying center known
as the "Sacred Building or Tomb of Zoroaster" with four two-storey
watch towers, situated at the northwest of the site. They
were apparently used in two different periods.
In ancient time, the
Zoroastrians residing the area used to observe their
rituals in this large temple.
Another big monument
located to the north of the city includes a central courtyard with several chambers
encircled by four multi-pillar verandas.
The traces of fire is quite
evident on the three platforms standing in the central
courtyard of Dahan-e Gholaman. The platforms with a height
of a little more than one meter were reached by a
Earthenware, hand mill
stones, small wooden items, boar bones and various other
objects have been unearthed at the site.
Besides pieces of painted
walls have been found in the discovered monuments,
including a mural painting showing an Achaemenid king in a
carriage, chasing a boar, which has already been wounded
by a spear, and targeting it with an arrow.
Drawn on a wall by charcoal
and partially colored, the painting looks after Darius I
chasing a lion, which has been discovered in Egypt.
The stamps used by
Achaemenid monarchs, colored mural paintings as well as
human and animal figures including cows representing the
continuity of the practice of pre-Islamic rituals during
this period are some of the discovered items.
the specific features of the site, vaults and mutli-pillar
verandas are in line with the climatic and geographical
conditions of the area, which is known for its hot and dry
Frequent use of
ellipse-shaped vaults in the chambers of Dahan-e Gholaman
are noteworthy, given that the architecture of the period
was characterized by horizontal, flat and smooth
structures, in particular those of Persepolis.
Meanwhile, use of simple
elements such as mud and unbaked mud bricks instead of
bricks, stones and other building materials in this
historical city is remarkable.
Opening", known today as Sistan should in a way be
considered as the ancient base of the government in
Unlike other ancient
relics, this one has not been demolished by being subject
to possible wars, natural disasters or other incidents.
Rather the change of the direction of the river near the
city forced the residents of the area to migrate from the
city and leave it deserted.
Dahan-e Gholaman is one of
the major historical and tourist hubs of
Sistan-Baluchestan province, which is qualified to be
registered as a world monument. However, despite the
historical significance, the grounds should be paved for
such registration and it should further be developed.
Head of the international
archaeological team in charge of survey of Shahr-e
Soukhteh and Dahan-e Gholaman, Mansour Seyed Sajjadi
declared here Monday that the 5th excavation season is now
underway at this Achaemenid city.
He told IRNA that during
the current season, a group of Iranian archaeologists
would conduct excavations and survey in the area for two
"They will be mainly
working on Monument No. 15 and the city's garrison.
Besides, the borders of the city are to be specified
during this excavation season," he added.
It is the only city of the
Achaemenid era, where public buildings, residential areas
and religious centers have been found.