The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Firuzabad’ Cultural Heritage (FCH) plans
to strengthen the ancient city of Gur’s only surviving Sasanian tower-like terbal,
announced Afshin Ebrahimi, the director of FCH and reported by the Persian
Service of ISNA on Tuesday.
“This [Iranian] year we have carried out
emergency works in [Sasanian palace of] Qal’a-Dokhtar. On the first stage we
covered the dome and the central Iwan with a layer of cob.”
added “in the Ardeshir’ palace we covered the main dome and the courtyard
with a protective layer of cob – we also strengthened dome III, to protect it
from complete destruction, since most of the dome has already been lost.”
Gur and its’ Tower
Gur is located about 110 km south of
Shiraz. The city which also was known as the Ardashir-Khorrah (the Glory of
Ardeshir) was founded by Ardeshir Bābakān, the founder of the fourth Iranian
dynasty, the Sasanian (224-651 CE). The city became the capital of Ardeshir's
efforts to gain more power when he was a vassal-king to the Parthian dynasty,
which was a major violation of Parthian imperial prerogatives.
The plan of the city was a perfect circle
of 1,950 m diameter, divided into twenty sectors by a precise geometric system
of twenty radial and several concentric streets. It was surrounded by a main
wall of stamped clay, a ditch 35 m wide, and a fore-wall. Inside the town an
inner wall set off the circular city centre, which was probably the site for
The tower-like terbāl stands at
the very centre of the city. This terbāl is a pier of rough stone
masonry 9m square and more than 30m high. It was the core of a stair-tower; with
a 20m width of the destroyed stairs and outer walls. It was thought to have had
a winding external stairway and to have been a descendant of the ziggurat.
It might have been part of a palace or
government building and probably symbolised the divine and centralist kingship
propagated by Ardeshir’s new state ideology - Zoroastrianism. This need not
have excluded practical use. The tower provided visual contact with the
fortifications above the main access road to the plain in the gorge. Beside this
military function, it must have been indispensable for surveying activities when
the planning scheme of the town and plain was laid out. This scheme continues
the concentric and radiant pattern of the town, at first up to an enclosure
wall, forming a twenty-cornered polygon of nearly 8 km in diameter. Beyond this,
the radials, consisting of traces of canals, paths, walls, and field borders
continue up to 10km distance from the central tower.
The city’s name changed to Fīrūzābād in the 10th century.
Copyright © 1998-2015 The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies (CAIS)