Jameh Mosque of Urmia undergoes new round of excavation

August 14, 2020 - 21:53

TEHRAN – An archaeological project has been commenced on the eastern side of the centuries-old Jameh Mosque of Urmia, which stands tall in the city of Urmia, the capital of northwestern East Azarbaijan province.

“New round of excavation will be conducted on the eastern side of the Jameh Mosque of Urmia in order to identify possible architectural elements estimated to exist in this part of the mosque,” CHTN quoted provincial tourism chief Jalil Jabbari as saying on Thursday.

The Jameh Mosque of Urmia, also known as Rezayieh Mosque, is located in a historical neighborhood of the city, and the mosque was constructed in the 13th century during the Ilkhanate era.

“Due to the presence of masses of wall-like rocks in this place, these excavations are necessary, and in this regard, this operation will be carried out from today under the supervision of experienced experts and archaeologists,” the official explained.

“Last year, excavations were carried out on this side of the mosque, leading to the discovery of artifacts which were similar to the remains of the stone pillars that currently exists at shabestan of the mosque,” Jabbari explained.

Shabestan is an underground space that can be usually found in Iran's traditional mosques, houses, and schools.

Consequently, a theory that the currently-existing shabestan would once have existed on other sides of the mosque is strengthened, he concluded.

Urmia, also spelled Orumiyeh, lies just west of Lake Urmia on a large fertile plain that yields grains, fruits, tobacco, and other crops. The population is mainly Azeri Turkish, with Kurdish, Assyrian Christian, and Armenian minorities. The remains of ancient settlements are scattered over the plain, as are traces of the ancient kingdom of Urartu.

AFM/MG

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