عنوان مقاله [English]
Kermānshāh has built on the border of natural frontier of Irānʼs plateau, on a plain of central Zagros. It has been at the center of human community attention, because of its geographical situation and biologic circumferential, from the Paleolithic period till now. The geographical situation and its settlement at the political and natural borders, has caused its military importance. This case rise from Safavid and after Iran and Ottomanʼs continually challenges and has continued after establishment of Irānʼs west frontier. Historical documents represent that after rise the quarrels between these two countries and for the purpose of providing western front equipment in the age of Afshārid, Kermānshāh became one of the Nāderʼs military centers and a fort has been established. This fort is in the category of few forts which have been made on the plain and Star-Shaped plan has been used in its design and building and makes it to be comparable with the European ones. Its complete desolation has happened by fort demolition in the uproar of organizing Zandyeʼs governorship, deployment of city space and changing the Qara suʼs riverbed. This text tries to find the reasons of building fort by Nāder Shāh, architecture, and its armaments output as the artillery of western front and its desolation after being the opposition house, by reliance on existent witness and documents. The questions of search are: First, whether the Qale Kohne has been a military fort and the center of producing the army armaments? And; whether the architecture structure that is comparable with the European ones can explain its output? The answers are propounded as theories replying on armaments output and continuity presentation of western architecture elements after Safavid. This search has been done in the method of descriptive-analytic and historical and while studying the text and documents, the aerial images and the accidental discoveries.
Keywords: Qale Kohne, Kermānshāh, Afshārid, Star fort.
Introduction and Method
Kermānshāh plain has been considered by human societies from prehistory to the present and has been promoted to the natural boundaries of the Iranian plateau after the establishment of the Safavid dynasty when the conflicts between Iran and Ottoman was increased in western borders. Although the borders of Iran have been shaped by the policies of Russia and Britain, in the 19th and 20th centuries but the geographical location of Kermānshāh, the strategic location of roads and the similar distances from major cities such as Baghdād, Tabriz, Tehrān and Isfahān, has made the city’s military significance. The status of the area after the treaty of Zuhāb has been consolidated, and this city is one of the safest border area centers in the region during the Safavid period till now. This has led to the establishment of a large fort in the Afshārid era in Kermānshāh Plain. The main goal of the current research is to find out reason of how and why the fort was built, and to increase the little information about Afshārid’s military architecture. The necessity of this is determined by the destruction of the fort and the increasing expansion of urban space and the lack of historical and archaeological data of the Afshārid period. The main questions of the research are: Is Qale Kohne a military fort and a center for the production and supply of arms? And the second question; Is the architecture of the fort, in particular its map, comparable to European ones, justifies its function? The answers to these questions are based on hypotheses based on the confirmation of the military’s function and the continuation of the emergence of Western architecture elements from the Safavid era. The method of research in this article is descriptive-historical analytic, and the texts and documents of Afshārid and early of Zandye, the aerial images and the data derived from the accidental discoveries are cited. These data, which have been discovered in the interior of the fort following the construction, are the only archaeological data of the inner space of the fort. Based on historical documents and archaeological evidences, the fortress was the main battlefield of the western Front of Iran during the Afshārid period. The most important function of Qale Kohne was defensive and arms production, and its architectural structure is comparable with forts such as Qale Ahar, Qale Ardebil and St. George fortress and Chaul in India.
Qale Kohne was a rectangular old building with dimensions of 650×870 meters and had an area of more than fifty hectares. This fort was ruined in the uproar of organizing Zandye dynasty and its ruins are located in Kermānshāh Plain and on the edge of the river Qara su. Qale Kohne is located a little distance from the ancient hills and sites on the margin of this river. A capital and a column is discovered from the area of Qale Kohne, these monuments are attributed to Sassanid period. In addition, following the new constructions in the fort’s interior, a number of rocky objects like large stone bowls have been discovered that may be used to construct firing bullets or production of gunpowder. Historical documents show that with the advent of Nāder Shāh’s domination, Kermānshāh became more important and ranked military bases.With the establishment of Qale Kohne, this city played a significant role in equipping military forces, especially during the rare battle for Baghdād. Jahāngoshāy-i Nāderi and Ālām Ārāy-i Nāderi are two works that are wrote in Afshārid period, are mentioned in Qale Kohne and its construction. In addition, Almās Khān-i Kandulei, from the commanders of the Nāder’s army, have been composed the events of this era are quoted from the language of a ruined fort in Kermānshāh, which according to its descriptions, may be is Qale Kohne. The fort was destroyed in the aftermath of Nāder Shāh. Despite the lack of evidence, and given the presence of Europeans in Iran and Nāder Shāh’s foreign relations, it is possible that Qale Kohne have been designed by Europeans. During the capture of India by Nāder Shāh, there were many European forts in the cities of India, where the English fortress of St. George and the Portuguese fort in Chaul is comparable with Qale Kohne.
The city of Kermānshāh became the military centre during the Afshārid period. On the orders of Nāder Shāh, a fort with an area of more than fifty hectares was built in this city. This fort is similar to the forts of the 15th-19th centuries. This building confirms the significance of the western front. Nāder Shāh founded the fort with the aim of stabilizing the borders and in order to provide the necessary arms to deal with Ottoman Empire. Historical documents provide brief information about the location of the fort in Afshārid era, and refer more to the function of the fort as the seat of Zandye’s opponents and Qale Kohne’s residential functions. According to available evidence, Qale Kohne seems not to be a military base but an armory, it has never been considered important in its size and fortifications. The fort was destroyed in the late Afshārid period, and today there are no clear signs of it. Another issue that has been raised with regard to the presence of Khorāsān tribes in Kermānshāh is the fort’s residential function for a non-native population which is common in European forts in the colonies and may be the fort has been established as a preventive measure in repelling power Zangana’s family.