Ancient 70-mile-long wall found in western Iran

November 6, 2019

TEHRAN – Archaeologists have recently discovered the remains of a stone wall, which is stretched about 115 kilometers, in Sar Pol-e Zahab county, western Iran.  

“With an estimated volume of approximately one million cubic meters of stone, it would have required significant resources in terms of workforce, materials and time,” wrote Sajjad Alibeigi, an assistant professor of Iranian Archaeology at Razi University in Kermanshah, Iran, in an article published online in the journal Antiquity, Live Science reported on Wednesday.  

The structure runs north-south from the Bamu Mountains in the north to an area near Zhaw Marg village in the south, Alibeigi wrote.

Photo depicts parts of a newly-discovered stone wall, which is stretched about 115 kilometers, in Sar Pol-e Zahab county, western Iran.

The archaeologist suggests that wall was built sometime between the fourth century BC and sixth century CE based on potteries found along the barrier.  

“Remnants of structures, now destroyed, are visible in places along the wall. These may have been associated turrets [small towers] or buildings,” Alibeigi cited, adding that the wall itself is made from “natural local materials, such as cobbles and boulders, with gypsum mortar surviving in places.”

Though the wall’s existence was unknown to archaeologists, those living near it have long known about the wall, calling it the “Gawri Wall,” Alibeigi wrote. 

Archaeologists, however, are not certain who built the structure, and for what purpose. Because of the poor preservation of the barrier, the scientists aren’t even sure of its exact width and height. Their best estimates put it at 4 meters wide and about 3 meters high, he said.
Archaeologists have previously found similar structures in the north and northeastern parts of Iran. Those may have had a defensive purpose.

Stretched for almost 200 kilometers, the Gorgan Wall is of such barriers that was constructed from 420s CE to 530s as a northern frontier of the then mighty Persian Empire.

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