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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Construction of Gardaneh-e Rokh Attributed to the Parthian Dynasty


14 September 2009



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  Arial view of Rokh Pass & Road - modern road over the ancient (Click to enlarge)

LONDON, (CAIS) -- The Gardaneh-e Rokh (Rokh Pass) located in the Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Province, southwest of Iran, believed to have been constructed during the third Iranian dynastic Empire, the Parthians (248BCE-224CE), reported by the Persian website of Iran Journalist Society.


“Rokh Pass is located between [city of] Shahr-e Kord and Esfahan [Province]. The Arsacid kings ordered the construction of the Rokh Pass to facilitate a better and safer travelling route connecting Khuzestan Plain to the Central Iranian Plateau,” said Jamal Mousavi, an expert with Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (CMBCHTO).


He added: “To date the ancient stony’ road is still visible and in use by Bakhtiari’s nomads of Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari, Esfahan and Khuzestan, as a migration route.”


Mousavi continued “during the 17th century, at the time of Shah Abbas II, the [ancient] road was used by the Safavid engineers and workers when they were constructing the water delivery systems, diverting waters to the Zayandeh-Rud [River in Esfahan]. It was at that time, Safavid engineers also repaired some sections of the road near the modern town of Kohrang. There is a Safavid inscription placed in the Pass, explaining the repair works.”


Rokh Pass is one the most important connective roads in the area, facilitating an easy passage for over 20,000 travellers a day in such a mountainous and inhospitable terrain.


Currently an archaeological team working in the nearby town of Kohrang.


Shahr-e Kord is the provincial capital of Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Province, situated 107 km southwest of Esfahan and 521 km southwest of the capital Tehran. The city is amongst highest towns in Iran (2220 m above the sea level). Its weather is dry, cold in winter and mild in summer. The town has a ski resort (Bardeh) located about 35 km away equipped with Poma-lifts, and several natural lagoons and small lakes for outdoor relaxation.


Shahr-e Kord in pre-Islamic times was known as Dež Gord, meaning the ‘Warriors’ Stronghold’. Sometimes, during the Islamic period the city’s name changed to Deh Kord with a different meaning, i.e. Village of the Kurds. In 1935, during the reign of the Reza Shah Pahlavi the name once again changed to Shahr-e Kord (City of the Kurds), to reflect metropolitan growth and increases in population. Shahr-e Kord  has a 130,000 population, majority being Lurs.


Lurs (also Lors) are an Iranian race living mostly in south-western Iran. Lurs mostly speak in Lori, a Southwestern Iranian language, closely related to Persian. Throughout the history they are known for their gallantry and nationalism. The overwhelming majority of Lurs are Shia Muslims though some practice an Iranian religion known as Yāresān, which is a mixture of Islam with ancient Iranian religions of Manichaeism, Mithraism and Zoroastrian.


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