عنوان مقاله [English]
West Azarbaijan is considered as one of the key and important areas in the archaeological studies of Islamic period of Iran (especially in the Ilkhanate and Safavid periods) due to its connection with Mesopotamia and Asia Minor, which, unfortunately, was not well-considered by archaeologists. Sardasht is geopolitically and strategically oriented as a canal that is located on the route of North West communication network to Iraq and Syria.Accordingly, the main questions are:1- What are the archaeological evidence in the context of the communication ways of this region? 2-What is the influence of the position of Sardasht on the formation intra-regional and extra-regional Northwest ways?The main purpose of this article is to reconstruct ancient ways of Sardasht. Research method in this study was descriptive-analytic(a combination of texts, archaeological evidence and GIS).In describing ancient communication routes of the area, the authors defined their fieldwork by scrutinizing the following principles:1-Reviewing historical texts and library studies in relation to the topic concerned 2: Exploring and studying the bridges and caravansaries of the region as factors associated with commercial ways 3:Surveying the archaeological evidences of old roads and Surveying the ancient sites and analyzing their location in relation to the proposed routes,4: Using GIS analysis and integrating it with archaeological evidence and interpreting satellite images.Archaeological evidence includes 5bridges,2 caravanserais, remains of roads, a mass of rocks with the possible use of a guide, and a large number of Islamic and historical sites. According to the results, there are two main connecting passages in Sardasht, which have been used for archaeological evidence from the first millennium BC to the late Qajar period.The Alan crossing in the south of Sardasht, which is connected to Kukhi Kurtak crossing on the northwest side, has been the main route and the passage of Qasma Rash in the west as a secondary route,including Sardasht’s routes to Iraq, and in particular Sulaimaniyah.
Sardasht city is located at the southeastern part of West Azarbaijan province. The most important natural occurrence is the Little Zab River, which has split it from the middle to two halves. This river originates from the establishment of settlements from prehistoric to Islamic periods. The study of communication paths is one of the important issues in archeology. Today, it is very difficult to study past paths; hence the study of communication paths is possible through archaeological evidence. The network of communication paths can be traced through the exploration of bridges, caravansaries, linear pattern of site dispersion, trajectory debris traces, etc. In addition to archaeological evidence and studying traveler’s literature, geographic analysis of region is required through spatial analysis software such as GIS. The research method in this research is a descriptive-analytic approach. Using a survey, the authors first identified and studied caravansaries and the remains of ancient roads and ancient rivers in Little Zab River, and then, by inquiring from the elderly, the ancient caravan routes along with the review of the old texts are reviewed, and in the end, the information was matched to the natural geography of region and final map of the ancient paths was drawn using GIS analyses. There are many references to the geographic texts about the Little Zab River basin; it has also been considered as an important crossroads for communication with Mesopotamia and northwestern Iran from the prehistory to the present day. The presence of important evidence, including the texts of travelers and tourists, ancient bridges, crossings, pathways, the linear pattern of important enclosures and castles on the main road, as well as the existence of suitable geographic conditions, including passages and communication valleys; it is imperative that these evidences be integrated seamlessly. This may be a window for the reconstruction of historical geography of the area in subsequent studies. The Little Zab River basin is one of the major geographic barriers due to the presence of deep valleys and high mountains in the northwest of Iran with North Mesopotamia. Accordingly, one of the main objectives of research is reconstruction of communication routes leading to the northern Mesopotamian crossing. The proximity of Sardasht city to the subterranean branch of the ancient Silk River, which flows through the south of Lake Urmia, has added to the importance of this city; hence, other main objectives of the research, in addition to recovery of Sardasht inner region; is to consider outskirt paths. The other goal of the study is to introduce new evidence of bridges and caravansaries along the way, which has not yet been introduced.
Northwest of Iran is of great importance during the Islamic period, especially from the Safavid period due to its proximity with the Ottomans, and, accordingly, the communication routes of the region are of great interest in this period. One of the main branches of the Silk Road crossed the northwest of Iran. Another branch passing through Mahabad, Kukhi Kurtak pass, Sardasht and Alan, led to Iraq. In this study, two main passages known as Alan in the south of Sardasht and the subway called Qassem Rash in western Sardasht were studied. Other attributes that were used in this research were texts. The texts that have considered Sardasht region include travelers and tourists’ texts who have traveled mainly to the area during the Qajar period and provide us with important information on the status of ancient roads and bridges. Among these people are Kerpourter, Frazer, Wagner, Khorshid Basha, Dumorgan, Wigram, Hubbard and Ali Khan vali. Other characteristics used to analyze this research are the study of archaeological evidence related to ancient ways in the region. Accordingly, in the present study, the authors studied Little Zab basin in Sardasht and obtained new evidence of ancient bridges on the Zab River. The archaeological findings include 5 archaeological sites and 2 caravanserais. Among the bridges, only one of the bridges (Ghalatasian Bridge) was previously identified and four other bridges are new findings. Bridges are among the most important archaeological evidence in connection with the study of the network of communication paths, which, along with the texts, were integrated seamlessly. In this research, the remains of old roads were considered alongside the Tyate and Allot bridges. A pyramidal rock mass was also investigated with the possible use of guide signs.
The study of past communication pathways always involves a thorough examination of geography of region, historical texts and, most importantly, ancient archaeological evidence associated with ancient paths. Hence, in this study all the evidence was studied in conjunction with each other. The present study showed that a main path for Sardasht communication paths is imaginable. This route is known as Kukhi Kurtak Passageway, in the north-east of the region and as Alan Passageway in the south of Sardasht city, which most travelers and tourists have traveled through. Sardasht outsourcing routes ultimately has been led in the west to Iraq, including the major cities of Sulaimaniyah, Erbil, Kirkuk, and Mosul and in the east of the region, in the south of Urmia Lake, to the sub-branch of the road called the Silk Road. In addition to the mentioned cases extracted through the texts of the tourists, the analysis of GIS maps showed that important factors such as tight geographic valleys, springs altitudes, and most importantly, important sites, which have been traversed linearly along the way, have played a major role in providing communication paths. Of course, communication paths always need facilities for passing that these facilities studied in this research were surveyed under the title of archaeological evidence such as bridges, caravanserais, paths and guide signs.