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New Evidence of Sasanian Architecture Identified in Kangelou Fortress


06 February 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- With discovery of some more architectural structures belonging to the Sasanian dynastic era (224-651 CE) such as new chambers in Kangelou Fortress, archaeologists wrapped up the first season of excavations in this historic fortress, hoping to pick up their excavations in a near future and find more such evidence.


“Kangelou fortress was originally constructed in three stories. However, major parts of the third floor have been destroyed over time. That is why we started our research on the architectural style of the second floor, which led to identifying three areas in this section including a rectangular one at the centre with two semi-circle areas on the sides. In continuation of our diggings, we reached to the bottom of the second floor made of stucco which was secured by filling the entire first floor up to the top,” said Saman Sourtiji, head of the excavation team in Kangelou Fortress.


According to Sourtiji, a number of architectural evidence including dividing walls, window arches, niche and the entrances were discovered during archaeological excavations in the area. All the new findings were documented by archaeologists after their discoveries.  


“Although we have not found any traces of floor making in the discovered rectangular areas, it is likely that they were filled to make staircase terraces during the final phase of construction of the fort which was meant to expand its area further,” added Sourtiji.


Continuation of excavations in the fortress also revealed that the walls were covered with stucco which in some parts continued to the rocky floor of the fortress.


Regarding the architectural style used in the fortress, Sourtiji explained: “The architectural style discovered in Kangelou Fortress makes us ponder whether the fortress was a place for keeping or transferring of water or probably it was a temple for worshipping Anahita, the ancient Persian Goddess of water. However, at this stage we can not say anything for sure and more excavations are required on the first floor of the fortress to prove its real usage in the ancient times.”


Prior to this and during a season of sounding operations which were carried out on the path leading to Kangelou Fortress, archaeologists succeeded in tracing more evidence of the Sasanian dynastic period. Their previous studies in the area also resulted in identifying settlement areas in the region belonging to different historic periods ranging in date from the Third Iron Age to early Islamic period – that is between ­­­early 8th century BC and about 651 AD.


Archaeologists have also unearthed a Sasanian grave along with silver rings having agate gems bearing engravings, which raised the possibility that the monument is a Mithraist temple. One of the gems bears an engraving of the sun with six rays of light emanating from it, symbolizing God Mithra.


Covering an area of 50 square meters in the Iranian northern province of Mazandaran, Kangelu Fortress has been constructed in three stories with stone and mortar. The ruins also indicate that it had arches, transept-like extensions, and a tower protecting it against landslides.




Extracted From/Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.




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