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CAIS NEWS ©

ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD

 

A Zoroastrian Fire-Temple Discovered in Duhok, Northern Iraq

 

23 August 2006

 

 

 

 The newly discovered Zoroastrian Temple near Jar Sangi Cave near Duhok; The picture shows the inside of the cave.

LONDON, (CAIS) -- A Zoroastrian fire-temple is believed to be discovered in Duhok city, which is the most complete to have been unearthed in the region.

 

Duhok's Director of Antiquities, Hasan Ahmed Qassim, has announced the discovery of a Zoroastrian temple near Jar Sangi Cave. The temple is believed to be the most complete to have been unearthed in the region. It is also said that it was a Mithraist temple.

 

"The temple was dedicated to the Zoroastrian deity Anahita, indicated by the discovery of Anahita's emblem, and a fire-alter at the heart of the temple" according to Qassim.

 

He further described the temple as being made up of five sanctuaries, three of which were carved into rock, with the remaining two having been constructed from stone blocks.

 

This discovery is being hailed as the most significant archaeological development in the region in recent times.

 

The newly discovered Zoroastrian Temple near Jar Sangi Cave near Duhok; The picture shows the inside of the cave.

 

"This new discovery will alter the history of the region due to its unique architectural style, which differs considerably from Zoroastrian temples previously discovered," explained the Director of Antiquities.

 

Qassim added, "the temple's style which looks toward the four-directions (Chahar Taqi) is central to Iranian architectural tradition, but it is a unique style ever discovered in this region; thus it reaffirms our cultural cohesion with the Zoroastrian heritage, which becomes an entry to studying Zarathushtrian art and archeology in this region."

 

At present archaeology teams are continuing work at the site to find out more about the temple's history. 

 

Ancient ruins, carvings, and sculptures discovered in the hills and caves bear witness to Dohuk’s significance past. Dahuk (also spelled Duhok) lies in the northwest of what is today known as Iraq, at 585m above sea-level and 470km north of Baghdad. It has about 300,000 inhabitants, mostly consisting of Kurds with minority groups of Assyrians, Chaldeans, Arabs, Armenians and Yazidis. According to some sources, the name "Dohuk" comes from Kurmanji Kurdish meaning "small village".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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