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Gateway to the restored Sassanid capital

TEHRAN – A team of cultural heritage experts have restored a stone walkway that once led people to Istakhr, the first capital of the powerful Sassanid Empire from AD 224 to 226.

Istakhr (also spelled Estakhr) is located near Persepolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (circa 550-330 BC).

The large stone gate, which stands next to the remains of the city’s historic mosque, is one of the landmarks of the ancient city, the CHTN said on Saturday citing Hamid Fadaei, the director of the World Heritage site.

Although the texture of the stone has been restored over the past decade, maintaining the gate’s protection for many years has been one of the most basic restoration requirements of this historic site, the official added. .

In the first stage of the restoration project, the team documented various aspects of the stone gate and the images recorded the extent of the damage, he noted.

After classifying the damage according to its type, origin and severity, a definitive protection plan was prepared, he explained.

Appropriate restoration and preservation strategies were considered and the project was carried out, he said.

The ancient city of Istakhr was the seat of local governments and a royal residence of Persian kings during the Sassanid era. In addition, it rose to prominence as a center of priestly wisdom and orthodoxy.

Istakhr rose to fame when Ardashir I, the founder of the Sassanid Empire, chose it as his residence in 224 CE when the Persian nobleman dethroned a legitimate ruler in Persia, Artaban IV, king of the Parthian Empire.

The builders of Istakhr often reused architectural elements from the monuments of Persepolis. The royal Achaemenid tombs of Naqsh-e Rostam are also not far from Istakhr.

Istakhr remained popular after the fall of the Sassanids by Arab innovators. According to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, geographer Istakhri wrote that in the 10th century, his houses were built of clay, stone, or gypsum depending on the wealth of their owners.

In addition, Istakhr has delivered many magnificent relics so far. An old rubbish pit in Istakhr turned out to be a very valuable source of finds. According to archaeological sources, the entire site is perforated by several sewer or storage wells. The holes are often “closed” with brick or stone plugs, and thus a roughly contemporary mix of broken and discarded pots, personal ornaments, stone and bronze objects, and a large number of coins. coins were kept there.

Today, Istakhr is no more than a plain full of tatters, scattered architectural remains and a few ruins. The fortified area measured 1,400 meters by 650 meters and was surrounded by a ditch that connected to a nearby river.


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