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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©

 

Discovery of Kermanshah's  Largest Partho-Sassanid Fire Temple

 

News Category: Partho-Sasanian Dynasty

 31 October 2005

 

 

(CHN) -- Archaeological excavations behind Shian Dam of Kermanshah (Kermânshâh) province led to the discovery of a big fire temple belonging to Parthian-Sassanid dynastic periods. This is the first fire temple which has been discovered in the vicinity of Kermanshah city. Previous to the discovery no one was aware of the existence of such a fire temple in Shian village.

The aim of these excavations is to save the historical site behind Shian Dam in Shian village of Kermanshah province. There is some evidence from the second millennium before the Christ to the beginning of Islam at the back of the dam. Archaeologists believe that the historical sites and different residencies were formed due to the existence of Sarab-e Shian in the region. Sarab-e Shian has existed since 2400 years ago.

“During the excavations for salvation of the historical site behind Shian Dam in Kermanshah, in one of the near residencies of the dam, a fire temple belonging to Parthian-Sasanid era was discovered, which was unknown until know. This fire temple is 14.5 in 14.5 square meters alongside an adjacent of 5 in 14.5 square meters. Therefore the whole area of the fire temple reaches to 19.5 in 14.5 square meters. Some unique plaster works can be seen in this fire temple,” says Hassan Rezvani, head of excavation team of Shian Dam in Kermanshah.

There is also an irrigation channel belonging to the Parthian era near to the fire temple, which archaeologists have not found the relation of this channel with the fire temple yet. The channel is stoneworked with two rows of stones and the bottom of it is covered with 40 in 40 in 7 centimeters bricks. The bottom of the channel is 60 meters long. There are some caulks from the stones of the river which were put to getter in a way to direct the water to the channel from the source head.

“There are several plaster works in the fire temple. The pillar of the brazier was designed with Lotos flower plaster works. Five pillars of braziers are located aside the circumambulation corridor. The pillar of this fire temple was built of mortar, semi hit plaster, and a very hard stone,” added Rezvani.

The excavations led to the discovery of some metal dishes which archaeologists believe that they should have been used on braziers. Archaeological studies indicate that the flooring of the fire temple should have been done later. During Islam period some changes was brought to the fire temple. A plaster raised platform was built in the center of the fire temple, which archaeologists believe that this way the fire temple was changed to a mosque. Regarding Islamic ways of burial in the vicinity of the fire temple it is supposed that there must be a mosque or pilgrimage place.

“A 5 in 10 meters plaster floor can be seen in the eastern entrance of the fire temple. There is an adjacent hall in the northern part of the fire temple which was the place for oblations in the fire temple. There is a stonework wall in the front of the eastern gate. And there are some small constructions between the eastern gate and the stonework wall which most probably was used during the Achaemenid era,” says Rezvani.