The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Islamic Republic’s Mines and Industries
Ministry has issued a permission for stone extraction from a quarry which is
located close to the historical Fire Temple of Niasar, ignoring objections
raised by cultural heritage experts and undermining Iranian heritage. As
the result, the private sector who is connected to the regime will continue mining in
this quarry for another 20 years which would gradually destroy this ancient
monument date back to the late Parthian dynasty (248 BCE-224 CE) or early Sasanian dynastic
era (224–651 CE) .
of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Niasar have several times warned about the destructive effects of
mining in this region which can demolish this Sasanian monument. They argued
that severe shakes caused by extracting operations could lead into complete
destruction of the building in a long run, which possibly is the intention of
the Islamic Regime’s Ministry. In addition, the piles of rubbles left by the
miners in the region have also intruded the cultural landscape of this historic
factor endangering the Niasar monument is a high concentration of poisonous gas
in the air, produced during the process of making the stones into powder for
mill for producing stone powder has been established next to the quarry without
considering that the process increases environmental pollution. This will not
only seriously damage this historical monument overtime, it can highly reduce
the number of tourists to the region,” said Nasser Mashhadi-zadeh Dahaghani,
head of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Niasar.
considering the direction of the wind-blow in Niasar, which is from the mountain
in which the quarry is located toward Niasar village, the uncontrolled toxic gas
release during the process to grind stones in this mill will eventually cause
serious health problems for the residents of the village.
have sent several letters to the related organizations including Iran’s
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and Iran’s Mines and
Industry Ministry to take immediate action; however we still have not
received any response,” added Mashhadi-zadeh.
heritage experts strongly believe that continuation of mining activities in the
area will not only result in destruction of this historic monument, it will also
permanently take away the chance for registering this Partho-Sasanian structure in the
list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
green and beautiful resort village of Niasar is located 28 kilometers west of
the city of Kashan, Esfahan province. Niasar’s Partho-Sasanian monument is a domed
building constructed over a rock at the highest point of Niasar village which
can be seen from afar.
a long time, people thought that the building was a fire temple belonging to the
either Parthian or Sasanian dynastic eras. However, further investigations revealed that some 1800
years ago the monument was used as an observatory to study the movements of the
sun in the early days of summer and winter. This building is one of the greatest
and oldest ones in Iran which has remained intact. It has a quadrangular shape
when looked from distance but is actually a trapezoid with identical sides that
are almost 12 meters high.
light stones used in the construction of this Partho-Sasanian monument are of
volcanic rocks, which is why the monument has remained intact after nearly 2000
years and has withstood several earthquakes.
In keeping with the tradition, each year Niasar’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department organises a ceremony at this ancient building to mark the observance of sun’s birth on summer and winter solstice.
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