Archaeological work starts at centuries-old public bathhouse 

July 11, 2021 - 16:50

TEHRAN – The first round of archaeological excavation has recently commenced at the remnants of the Safavid era (1501-1736) public bathhouse in Farahabad, the northern province of Mazandaran.

The project aims at revealing the historical background of the monument and preventing further destruction as well as turning it into an outdoor museum, CHTN quoted archaeologist Mohammad Arman Ershadi, who leads the excavations, as saying on Sunday.

The bathhouse along with some other historical structures is located in a historical village named Tahan, which was built by the order of Shah Abbas the Great (r. 1588 – 1629), he added.  

The bathhouse is made of brick and mortar and consists of an entrance corridor, a changing area, and a pool, he explained.

However, further excavation surveys are needed to determine the exact plan of the bathhouse, he noted.

Bathhouses or ‘hammams’ in Iran were not only places for bathing and cleaning up. They had a social concept for people who gathered at these places weekly.

It was a place where people talked with each other about their daily life and shared humor and news. There are still bathhouses in Iranian cities but they do not have their social function anymore since most people have bathrooms in their homes due to the modern lifestyle.

Some cities had separate bathhouses for men and women. They were usually built next to each other. However, there were some bathhouses, which were used by men and women at different times of the day.

There were also male and female public bathhouses; at daybreak, a longhorn (booq-e javaz) was blown to announce that the bath was ready. Men came to the baths from daybreak till the afternoon. Women could use the bathhouses from then to sunset. In some cases, five days were allocated to men and two days to women.

Persian literature is full of proverbs, narrations, and folk stories about bathhouses, which indicate the importance of the place in the past time.

Stretched along the Caspian Sea and Alborz mountain range, Mazandaran is a popular destination for domestic holidaymakers and it is home to more than 3,500 villages and rural areas, hosting millions of domestic night-stays in a year.


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