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.CAIS NEWS©

ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD

 

Wonders of Iranian City Planning to be Revealed in Gur City

 

08 May 2007

 

 

 

LONDON, (CAIS) -- Archaeologists are in search of tracing the geometrical order which was implemented in Gur historical city located in Firuzābād, Iranian Fars province, in an attempt to bring into light the wonders of this first Sasanian city.

 

“City of Gur is the first city which was established during Sassanian dynastic era. Based on historical evidence while this city was still under construction by order of Ardeshir I, the founder of Sasanian dynasty, was in fight with Artabanus IV, the last Parthian Emperor to gain the power. Enjoying a specific architectural style, this city is a witness of the transition from Parthian dynastic era to Sassanian Empire. Another prominent characteristic about this city is that from the very beginning the city was designed based on a very ordered plan,” said Masoud Azarnoush, head of excavation team in Gur historic city in Firouzabad.

 

According to Islamic documents, prior to construction of Gur city, the area where the Gur is located was flooded by order of Alexander of Macedon during his conquest to Iran and turned into a wetland. Later during Sasanian dynastic era, by order of Ardeshir I, the wetland was drained and in addition to agricultural lands, an appropriate place was created for establishing the city.

 

Azarnoush believes that there must have been a direct relation between design of Gur city and power mentality of Ardeshir I. In other word, it can be said that a strategic mentality of power structure was implemented in construction of this city. On the other hand, the circle shape of this city has distinguished it as one of the wonders of Iranian architectural style and city planning.

 

Regarding the architectural style of this circle-shaped city, Azarnoush explained: “Gur city is a circle-shaped city with diameter of 2 kilometres. The city is divided into 61 parts by 20 radial walls and 3 concentric circles. The core circle is 450 meters in diameter. This kind of division shows that most probably some important buildings such as official, ceremonial, religious, and governmental departments were formed in this area, remains of two of which can still be seen in the area. One of them is the famous mihrab (altar) which is located just in the centre of the circle and the other is known as the seat monument which must have been a big fire temple.”      

  

According to Azarnoush, since when the city was under construction, Ardeshir was still fighting to gain the power, the first priority considered for this city was to design it in a way to be a defensive city. On the other hand, the city was constructed in Firuzabad plain, which was surrounded by mountains and just two narrow gorges led to it. All of these conditions increased the security of this historic city.

 

Head of excavation team in Gur city further explained that the defensive strategy of this city went beyond the limits of the city and remains of polygonal and spider web defensive walls can be still traced 10 kilometres distance of the central part of the city which promoted the defensive system of the city.    

 

Historical city of Gur located near Firuzabad in Fars province, is the first circle-shaped city of Iran, which was established during the third century CE by the order of Ardeshir Pāpakān (otherwise known as Ardeshir I), the founder of Sasanian dynasty (224-651 CE) and was one of the most important cities during that period. Evidence show that this city remained flourished for centuries even after the collapse of Sassanian dynasty and prevailing of Islam. Archaeologists believe that with continuing their excavations in this historic city they would find traces of transition of Sasanian dynasty to Islalmic culture.

 

Regarding the current situation of this historic city, Azarnoush told Persian service of CHN: “Gur city requires to receive more protection. Some parts of this city have turned into agricultural lands. On the other hand, a number of the radial walls which existed even until 40 years ago have not survived any more. By brining into light the reality and unknown facts about this marvelous city, people will not only get familiar with this unique architectural remain, but taking into account that some important historical monuments such as Ardeshir’s palace or fire temple, Qale Dokhtar fortress, and two prominent bas relief belonging to Sassanian dynastic era are located in the vicinity of this historic city, it would boost the tourism attractions of this historic site.”

 

During last year excavations in Gur city which was conducted by Iranian -German archeology team under supervision of Professor Dietrich Hoff resulted in some invaluable discoveries including a cemetery belonging to the Sasanian princes with some unique tub-like coffins which was never found elsewhere in Iran. The walls of this tomb were decorated with designs of Sasanian princes and its floor was printed with white, ochre, green, and yellow colours. Iran-Germany joint team also succeeded in discovering a circular structure which led to the Iranian observatory, dating back to the first Islamic century.

 

 

 

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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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