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CAIS NEWS ©

Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World

 

Fresh Claim About the Origins of Qar-e Shirin’s Khosrow Palace as Islamic

 

24 July 2009

 

 

LONDON, (CAIS) -- The director of archaeological research at Qasr-e Shirin renewed an old and obsolete theory that the palace-structure known as the Khosrow Palace (Emārat-e Khosrow) was a 9th century Islamic structure, rather than being Sasanian, reported the Persian Service of ISNA on Monday.

 

Previously most historians and researchers dated the structure to the Sasanian dynasty, but Yousef Moradi the director of the team at Qasr-e Shirin claimed: “during the last two seasons of archaeological research we have not found any evidence [material culture] to indicate the structure was Sasanian.”

 

Moradi backed his claim saying: “the first validation for its Islamic origin is that we have not found any Sasanian pottery; secondly, detailed examinations of the discovered bricks show they are typical of 9th century era, and lastly the construction of the halls are similar to Abbasid architecture found in modern Iraq and Syria.”

 

This is not the first time an archaeologist has misunderstood the date of the structure, due to its similarity to the Abbasid period buildings, forgetting that the Abbasid’s architecture was based on Iranian architecture and in some ways was a continuation of Sasanian building tradition.

 

His claim however is problematic since all the medieval Iranian and Arab geographers such as Yaqut al-Hamawi report that the structure was built by the Sasanian King Khosrow II, also no historian has ever mentioned that the Abbasids had any base or interest at Qasr-e Shirin to construct a 75,000 square meter ostentatious and costly palatial complex there - moreover the presence of a Chār-Tāqi in the palace’s ground points to its pre-Islamic origin, since erecting a Zoroastrian fire temple by Muslim-Caliphs is unheard of.

 

Khosrow palace complex is the typical Sasanian arrangement of a domed hall fronted by an iwan, or the basilical hall in Sasanian architecture. Numbers of early European travellers such as Jacques de Morgan, Oscar Reuther and Gertrude Bell in the late 19th century carried out surveys and prepared architectural plans of the Palace. Bell informs us that in producing her survey she was sometimes obliged to make analogies with the better-preserved palace at Ukhaidir in Iraq to fill in the missing parts, of which there were many, and this is why Khosraw's building has such a strong Abassid flavour.

 

Many experts believe that the Khosrow Palace had been sacked and pillaged by Emperor Heraclius (r. 610-641).

 

 

 

 

Portions of this news have been excerpted from Persian service of ISNA - translated and modified by CAIS. [*]

 

 

 

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