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Sasanian Monument in Jahrom under Threat as the Result of Poor Restorations


23 September 2006




Ghadamgah_Fire_Temple_in_Jahrom.jpg (62404 bytes)

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  Qadamgāh in Jahrom Citadel

(Click to enlarge)

Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav


LONDON, (CAIS) -- The Sasanian monument of Qadamgāh in Jahrom Citadel in the Fars Province is in danger as the result of unprofessional restorations.


The historical site is situated in the southeast of the city of Jahrom at the foot of Mount Zagros, 190km southeast of Shiraz, the provincial capital of Fars province. The monument was registered in Iran’s National Heritage list in 1956.


Four years ago this monument received some restorations, but as the result of unprofessional works, it is now under threat of destruction. The restorers have used a modern method of plastering, rather than employing the traditional Sasanian method. These poor restorations have also caused various structural problems to the monument.


During the Safavid dynasty, further buildings and extensions were added to the structure. The modifications and attentions that the structure received during the Safavid era, was most probably a result of a claim by locals that the structure was belongs to Ali Ibn Abi Talib the first Shia imam.


Experts believe the monument was constructed during the late Sasanian dynastic era (224-651 CE), and it was a Zoroastrian shrine, probably a fire temple.


Currently, the monument is located inside the city and surrounded by residential houses.


After the fall of the Sasanian dynasty and invasion of Muslim forces, Iranians (Zoroastrians) had to disguise their religious buildings in order to protect them from destruction, and the best solution was to associate them with the new invading faith.


According to the historical accounts, Ali ibn-Talib was involved in the fall of Ctesiphon but there is no record of him traveling deep into Iranian territory as far as Jahrom (according to Tabari 838–923 it was Ali who suggested cutting the famous Sasanian Baharestan carpet into pieces, which he then sold his share for 20,000 dirham)


Therefore, most probably this building is one of those Zoroastrian shrines in disguise, especially when this part of the Fars province was one of the major centres of Zoroastrianism after the Arab invasion.


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