Archaeological site in Qazvin to turn into outdoor museum

March 1, 2021 - 18:34

TEHRAN – The prehistoric site of Khalehkuh, situated in northwestern Qazvin province, is planned to be turned into an outdoor museum due to the significance of its antiquities. 

Located in Takestan region, the ancient site is one of the most valued in the region and is of great significance to archeological studies, the provincial tourism chief said on Monday. 

Establishing an open-air museum seems important due to the historical antiquity of the site and the necessity of introducing and displaying the works obtained from historical layers and architectural remains discovered during different excavations, Alireza Khazaeli added. 

A new archaeological survey has also commenced at the site under the supervision of a team of archeologists and cultural heritage experts, the official added. 

With an area of five hectares, Khalehkuh archeological site dates back to the 5th millennium BC. Relics related to the agricultural life dating back to the Neolithic and Chalcolithic eras have been found in the region as well. 

Qazvin was once the capital of the mighty Persian Empire, under Safavids, from 1548 to 98. It is a major tourist destination with a wonderfully restored caravanserai-turned-arts precinct, some quirky museums, and a handful of decent eating options. For most travelers, Qazvin is also primarily the staging point for excursions to the famous Castles of the Assassins and trekking in the sensational Alamut Valley.

Also known as the castle of the Assassins, the 12th-century Alamut castle is nestled on top of a peak. It was once a shelter for the followers of Hasan-e Sabbah (1070–1124) who was a spiritual leader of an Islamic sect. In the early 1930s, British-Italian explorer and travel writer Freya Stark described her exploration of the place in her book “The Valleys of the Assassins”.

Qazvin is also home to one of the biggest roofed caravanserais of the country, Sa’d-al Saltaneh caravanserai. Dating back to the Qajar era, it’s a place for discovering tens of Hojreh or shops, cafes, yards, and a stunning mosque. It’s a place for visitors who want to experience the culture, culinary, and hospitality of Iran.


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