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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Sar-Majed Fire Temple’s Condition Worrisome


08 February 2010



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  Remains of Sar Masjed Fire Temple

(Click to enlarge)


LONDON, (CAIS) -- The massive stone-structure known as the Sar-Masjed Fire Temple in the city of Masjed Soleiman, in Khuzestan province, southwest Iran is currently in a worrisome state and its future remains uncertain.


“The provincial Cultural Heritage Organisation has an especial outlook over the Sar-Masjed Fire Temple, which has not received the deserving attention it requires in the past few years”, said Masud Soltani, the director of Masjed Soleiman Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (MSCHTO).


“Due to the importance of the Sar-Masjed Fire Temple, which dates to [the first] Persian period (the Achaemenid dynasty), we have asked the Khuzestan CHTO to pay more attention to the edifice”, said Soltani.


According to Soltani, the monument is currently under 24 hour around the clock security supervision, protecting the ancient monument from nighthawkers and looters, but requires urgent attention.


“The ancient monument requires urgent attention; its surface needs to be restored to protect it from further destruction and the whole structure is in need of strengthening”, asserted Soltani.


The ancient fire temple’s architectural style is very similar to Pasargadae and Persepolis. Roman Grishman denote the structure to the early period of the second Iranian dynasty, the Achaemenids (550-330 BCE) and believed the edifice pre-dates Pasargadae – while others date it to the Parthian dynasty (248 BCE-224 CE), built in an Achaemenid imperial style.


The fire temple’s original pre-Islamic name is unknown; its modern name has been derived from its location which is on top of a hillock over looking a locality called "Sar-Masjed".


The remaining structure with two sets of stairs, each 25 meters long at each side, with its irregular polished rock stones, broken round pillars and arched ceilings tells the story that once a magnificent Zoroastrian fire temple stood there.



Original news bulletin published in Persian by ISNA  - translated and rectified by CAIS [*]




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