An Archaeological Distribution and Analysis of the Sassanid Chartaghies in the Western and South-Western Regions of Fars Province


Department archaeology, College of Humanities, Hamedan Branch, Islamic Azad university, Hamedan, Iran


The Sassanid dynasty is a historical period when the Sassanid kings have factor their attention on the Zoroastrian religion and religious issues and events. The Zoroastrian religion has had a special impact on the culture (art and architecture) during this era. It seems that the understanding and learning more about the Sassanid religions architecture could provide us with a more obvious and outstanding prospect of religions characteristics and customs. Therefore, a research project titled “an archaeological distribution analysis of the Sassanid Chartaghies in the western and south-western regions of Fars province” was launched during three archaeological seasons in winter 2011, as well as spring and summer 2012. The outcome of the study was recognizing 18 Chartaghies between the cities of Baladeh and Farashband to Firuzabad. The present endeavor studies the chronology of one of the most prominent and untouched Chartaghies of the region called “Gonbad Chartaghi collection”. This fire temple is a recognized sample of Sassanid religions architecture. This archaeological element was previously known to be merely religions and their construction was understood to be closely related to the worship of fire. There are so many of these Chartaghi at Fars province which it seems unreasonable to have been solely and necessarily designed be possible that some of these Chartaghies were built for other purposes whit different attitudes. Some of researchers believe that they were places for fire worships while others consider them to be solely an archaeological element. As pointed out above, the current study attempted to determine the functioning of the temple collection. Thus their architectures were compared whit similar buildings. As the distinction and recognition of the Chartaghi architecture collection whit a religions functioning from other building in which the form can only be observed can contribute to a better understanding of the Sassanid architecture. The following four questions were raised:
1- When was the Gonbad Chartaghi collection built?
2- Can a Fire Temple functioning be determined for this collection based on the remaining evidence?
3- Has This Chartaghi collection followed a pattern similar and singular to the Iranian Chartaghies (specifically the Sassanid Empire)?
4- Are there any news or trace of the present monument in the written texts from the Sassanid era?
A stylistic comparison of the Gonbad Chartaghies between this monument and Sassanid samples in terms of plan, material, dome, and vaults. The construction benefits from a similar pattern, too. Based on Dietrich Hoff classification, this collection can be included among the Sassanid Chartaghies because the walls of the worship corridor and its vaults (whereby crescent vaults have been used to build the corner domes) seems to be similar to Takhte-Soliman great temple. As a result, based on what was mentioned above, specific elements of a Fire Temple can be observed in the Gonbad Chartaghi collection. It could also be argued that this monument is a religions building with a Fire Temple functioning belonging to the Sassanid era. The building includes a worship hall, several rooms, with Yazshen- gah functioning as well as some rooms for priests and Fire Temple attendants. Based on round group classification and with respect to the fire which turned on inside the temple, it has been use by local people. The typology of the discovered pottery could not help determine an exact date. However, according to its architectural typology with the original forms of the Chartaghies of the above mentioned period, it would be possible to determine the period between the fifth to ninth centuries B.C. as the time when the Chartaghi has commonly been used as a Fire Temple by the follower and Zoroastrian priests.


Main Subjects

- آزاد، میترا، 1384، «بررسی تحول بناهای مذهبی دوره‌ی ساسانی به بناهای مذهبی قرون اولیه اسلامی»، پایان‌نامه کارشناسی‌ارشد، دانشگاه تربیت‌مدرس، تهران.
- آمیه، پیر، 1384، تاریخ ایلام، ترجمه: شیرین بیانی، انتشارات دانشگاه تهران، تهران.
- اتینگهاوزن، ریچارد و گرابر، اولگ، 1381، هنر و معماری اسلامی 3، تهران، سمت.
- اکبرزاده، طاووسی و داریوش، محمود، 1385، کتیبه‌های فارسی میانه، نقش هستی، تهران.
- بویس، مری، 1384، زرتشتیان؛ باورها و آداب دینی آن‌ها، ترجمه: عسگر بهرامی، انتشارات ققنوس، تهران.
- تاج‌بخش، رویا و وندائی، میلاد، 1391، «بررسی باستان شناختی و تحلیل پراکنش چهارطاقی‌های دوره ساسانی غرب و جنوب غربی استان فارس»، گزارش طرح پژوهشی، دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی واحد همدان، همدان (منتشر نشده).
- تاج‌بخش، رویا و وندائی، میلاد ،1392، «آتشکده نقاره خانه، جایگاه مغان مگ»، مجله پیام باستان‌شناس، سال دهم، شماره بیستم، صص: 83-94.
- دریایی، تورج، 1388، شهرستان‌های ایرانشهر، ترجمه: شهرام جلیلیان، انتشارت توس، تهران.
- رضوانی، حسن، 1384، «گزارش کاوش نجات‌بخشی محوطه سد شیان کرمانشاه»، مرکز اسناد پژوهشکده باستان‌شناسی (منتشر نشده).
- فرنبغ، دادگی، 1378، بندهش، گذارنده: مهرداد بهار، توس، تهران.
- گدار، آندره، 1387، آثار ایران، ترجمه: ابولقاسم سرو مقدم، انتشارات آستان قدس، مشهد.
- گیمن، دوشن، 1375، دین ایران باستان، ترجمه: رویا منجم، انتشارات فکر روز، تهران.
- محمدی فر، یعقوب و مترجم، عباس، 1390، «جولیان: آتشکده نویافته ساسانی در آبدانان ایلام»، مجله باغ‌نظر، صص: 77-88.
- مردای، یوسف، 1388، «چهارطاقی میل میلگه: آتشکده‌ای از دوره‌ی ساسانی»، مطالعات باستان‌شناسی، شماره نخست،‌ صص: 155-183.
- نیستانی، جواد و نامجو، عباس و موسوی‌کوهپر، مهدی، 1390، «مکان‌یابی آتشکده‌های چهارگانه‌ی مهر نرسی: بررسی آتشکده‌های مسیر بیشاپور- اردشیرخوره»، مطالعات باستان‌شناسی، شماره اول، دوره‌ی سوم، صص: 159-176.
- وندائی، میلاد و شادروح، فروزان، 2012، «مجموعه چهارطاقی نقاره‌خانه»، ساسانیکا فارسی 7، صص: 1-14.
- وندائی، میلاد و تاج‌بخش، رویا، 1393، «اردشیر خوره، پایتخت مذهبی ساسانیان»، مجله دانش مرمت و میراث‌فرهنگی، ویژه‌نامه آتشکده ها و آتشگاه‌های ایران، صص: 11-42.
- وندائی، میلاد،1394، «بررسی پراکنش جغرافیایی چهارطاقی‌های ساسانی استان فارس، و تاثیر تاریخ بر آن»، دومین همایش ملی باستان‌شناسی ایران، مشهد.
- هرتسفلد، ارنست، 1381، ایران در شرق باستان، ترجمه: همایون صنعتی زاده، پژوهشگاه علوم انسانی و مطالعات فرهنگی، تهران.
- Boyce, M., 1975, “On the Zoroasterian Temple Cult of Fire”, JAOS 95, PP.464- 465.
- Godard, A., 1938, “Les monuments du feu”, Athar-e Iran, p.12.
- Hardy, A., 1938, “Le monument de Neisar”, AMI III, pp.163-166.
- Huff, D., 1971, “Qaḷʿa-ye DukhtarbeiFiruzabad.EinBeitragzursasanidischenPalastarchitektur,” AMI, N.S. 4, pp. 127-71.
- Huff, D., 1974, Sasanian Char-Taqs in fars. Proceedings of the IIIRD Annual Symposium on Archaeological Research held in Iran. Tehran: Muzeh-e Iran-e Bastan. Tehran: Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research.
- Huff, D.,1983, “Takht-i Suleiman,” ArchivfürOrientforschung 29-30, pp. 293-95.
- Huff, D., 1989, “BĀZA-ḴŪR”,Originally Published: December 15, 1989, Last Updated: December 15, This article is available in print., Vol. IV, Fasc. 1, p. 20.
- Huff, D.,1990, “ČAHĀRṬĀQ”, EncycloPedia Iranica, Vol. IV, Fasc. 6, pp. 634-642.
- Miroschedji, P.D., 1980, “Un chahārṭāqdans la plaine de Darab”, Iran 18,pp. 157-60.
- Nauman, R., 1965, Et Ali,Takht-i Suleiman und Zendan-i Suleiman, VorläufigerBerichtüber die.- Ausgrabungen in den Jahre 1963 und 1964,AA 1965, pp.621-623.
- Rawlinson, H.C., 1841, “Notes on a Journey From Tabriz through Persian Kurdistan, to the rains of ThkhtiSoleiman, and From thence by Zanjan&Torom, to Gilan”, in: Oct, and Nov 1938, JRGS 10, pp.1-64.
- Schippmann, K., 1971, Die iranischenfeuerheiligtumer, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York.
- Siegler, k. &Wunderlich, H.G & Albercht, G. & Rombock, V., 1973 Restauration des PalasSassanides de Kaleh- Dokhtar, Firouzad et Sarvistan, unesco, paris.
- Starr, R., 1939, Nuzi, Report on the Excavations at YorganTepe near Kirkuk, Iraq, Cambridge Massachusetts.
- Stein, A., 1935, “An Archaeological Tour in the ancient Persis”, GJ LXXXVI, 65-68.
- Stronach, D. & Roaf, M. & Stronach, RU. & Bökönyi, S., 1978, “Excavations at TepeNush-i Jan”, Iran, Vol. 16, pp. 1-28
- Kleiss, W., 1973, “QaḷʿehZohak in Azerbaidjan,” AMI, N.S. 6, pp. 163-88.
- Trudy, S. K. & Lawrence, B & Robert, K., 1978, “Kuh-e Khwaja, Iran, and Its Wall Paintings: The Records of Ernst Herzfeld”, MetropolitanMuseum Journal, Vol. 22, pp. 13-52.
- Kaim, B., 2004, “Ancient Fire Temples In The Light Of The Discovery At Mele -Hairam”, in: Iranica Antiqua,vol.XXXIX. PP.323-337.
- Vandaee, M. & Shadrouh, F., 2012, “The ChaharTaqi Complex of Naqar-e Khan-e”, Sasanika Archaeology 7, pp.1-16 .(in Persian)
- Vandaee, M & Jafari, M. J., 2012, “Siāh-Kal: A Newly Discovered ChaharTaq in Zarneh of the Ilam Province”, Sasanika Archaeology 11, pp.1-14.
- Vandaee, M & Tajbakhsh, R & Maghsoudi, R., 2012, “Sassanid fire temple Discovered in ArdašīrKhore, Pars”, Journal of American Science, pp:105-114.
- Vanden Berghe, L., 1961, “Récentesdécouvertes de monu‌ments sassanidesdans le Fārs”, Iranica Antiqua 1, pp. 163-198.
- VandenBerghe, L., 1968, “Les ruines de Bihisht a Duzakh a Sultanabad”, Ir Ant VIII, pp.94-105.
- Vanden Berghe, L., 1977, “Les chahartaqs du Pusht-i Kuh”, Iranica Antiqua, 12, pp. 175-‌77.
- Vanden Berghe, L. 1984, “Le chahārṭāq de Qanāṭ-i Bāgh (Fārs) etl’inventaire des chahārṭāqs en Irān”, Iranica Antiqua 29, pp. 201-20.