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26 January 2021 |

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  Anahita Temple, the second stone building of Iran


After the Persepolis, Anahita Temple, is the second stone building of Iran that is always visited by many domestic and foreign tourists and archaeologists. The Temple is at the center of Kangavar city in Hamadan province that is located in the way of Hamadan in Kermanshah.


After the Persepolis, Anahita Temple, is the second stone building of Iran that is always visited by many domestic and foreign tourists and archaeologists. The Temple is at the center of Kangavar city in Hamadan province that is located in the way of Hamadan in Kermanshah. This building built on a natural hill with a maximum height of thirty-two feet to the ground surface of around. Some historians know this building as a temple for goddess Anahita. Anahita means pure and free from dirt that in the ideas of ancient Iranian, was the goddess of water, guardian angel of springs and rain and also is the sign of fertility, love and friendship.

This belief existed in Iran before the Zoroastrian era and has also taken into consideration in the next eras. To respect this Iranian goddess, many temples and statues was built in Persia in the historical periods before Islam. Some other researchers, following the Iranian and Arab historians of the third century AD to the next, have introduced this building as an unfinished palace for Khosrau Parviz. 

 

Some people attributed its construction time to the end of the third century and the beginning of the second century BC and some others attributed it to the first century BC. Saifullah Kambakhsh, a researcher, attributed it to the third Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian eras and Masoud Azarnoush, another researcher of the building, knows it as an unfinished palace by Khosrau Parviz, in the end of Sasanian era. This building is made on a hill with the height of 32 meters in 209 to 224 dimensions.

 

Height of the pillars of this building rather than their diameter is 3 to 1 and this causes that is becoming unique and marvelous between all of the temples of the world. Map of this building is quadrilateral and each side of that is in a form of platform that is made with small stones and plaster and their exterior shape is carved by large stones and have been covered as Drystone dyke. In some cases, to connect some blocks, metal and lead clamps are used. In the southern part of the building, two-sided staircase to the length of one hundred and four meters exist. Every two to five steps, has been created in one block stone.

Number of stair stones in the eastern stairs are 26 and in the western stairs is 21. Considering to the wall height that 8 and 2 tenths of meters of it, has remained, number of stairs was definitely more than this. In the north east of the building, two rows of carved stones has been used that indicates the entrance of this building with 2 meters wide. In the building center, a platform to the east-western direction has made that has a length of 93 and 3 and 9 tenths wide and between 3 to 5 meters height. On the quadruple platforms of this building, except the distance between the two series of southern stairs, a row of pillars located and these pillars are short and thick. The quarry of forty Maran has located at two kilometers west of this building and now half-carved stones remained from that time between the pillar and stones of the front in the mining surfaces. Historical background of Anahita temple

Although there is disagreement about the nature of this building, but more famous theory, knows the building as a temple for goddess Anahita. In the first century AD, Isidoro cheresky, a Greek geographer that is the first person who refers to the Anahita temple in his book, calls it as Artemis temple. From the ninth to the fourteenth century, Islamic historians have visited this region and recorded their observations in their reports. Ibn al-faqih in the famous book of Al-baladan (means countries) has written: “No pillar is more amazing than the Anahita temple pillars of Kangavar”. The first archaeological excavations were conducted in 1374 and according to preliminary investigations, knows this building as a place for worship of the goddess Anahita in the Parthian era. In 1354, the next searches and the emergence of the similar arch oriented congressional stone in the head of Zahab Bridge, has addressed this theory that this building might be the remaining of one of Khosrau Parviz palaces in the Sasanian era that of course the existence of other evidences gives the first theory such more strength and power. Studies have shown that this temple in the Seljuk, Ilkhanate, Safavid and Qajar era was used for other purposes and there is a trace and sign from each of these historical eras in the temple. Anahita temple has destroyed gradually over the years. People used from architectures consists of gypsum and lime as a place to supply gypsum and fresh lime. Over thousands of years, Kangavar people by melting the existing gypsum and lime in the historical place, have destroyed the constructional remains of Anahita temple. After the Kangavar earthquake in 1336 and people’s constructions, the temple had become almost a ruin. Actual satiation of Anahita temple Without a doubt, in terms of historical value, Anahita temple is one of the most significant phenomena and cultural heritages of Iran. Also, the unique features of this historical place can be effective in absorbing domestic and foreign tourists and economic boom of the region. These phenomena have been waiting for registration on the UNESCO world list. One of the barriers of recording this phenomena in the UNESCO world list, is because the research has not accomplished and completed about the background of building and related theories have not been definite about its historical background that we hope they will be specified and placed in the world phenomena recording list. Anahita temple is visited every year by domestic and foreign tourists and many archaeologists.

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