Ancient potteries discovered in underground shelter

May 16, 2022 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Locals have recently discovered potteries while cleaning an underground shelter in northern Iran.

A cleaning project has uncovered several cultural elements in an underground shelter in northern Gilan province, Iranian archaeologist Shahram Ramin said on Monday.  

The discovery includes several simple and glazed pottery dating back to the Islamic era, Ramin said. 

The structure is approximately 300 meters in the heart of a hill with the east-west axis and is about 120 by 100 meters in size in a natural soil bed mostly made of sand that has been hardly fused with silt and lime, he explained. 

The hill’s outer part and top are flattened in the form of three platforms and on them are several thatched buildings belonging to the local villagers, he added. 

Once the archaeologists have researched and analyzed such structures, they could attract tourists to the region, he mentioned. 

Experts say such tight labyrinthine underground “cities”, which were used as defensive shelters in wartime, still boast lots of charms as destinations for domestic and foreign travelers.

The handmade troglodytic architecture is a distinctive method, which does not require major construction materials and consequently very low environmental load since its creation is majorly by extraction of space rather than the addition of mass. The Architecture by subtraction rather than addition provides many opportunities that call for comprehensive research and analysis.

As there is no obligatory method in making spaces rather than material cohesion, there is no priority in constructing a troglodytic structure, either from the roof or from the floor. Dealing with stone blocks, rocks, and piles of the earth requires a variety of tools such as an ax, hammer, chisel, and sledgehammer to shape the interior space.

Based on the academic findings, the creation of handmade troglodytic architectural sites depends on several factors including climatic and geographical conditions, defense, security, durability, and religion, which were deeply tied with the cultural, political, social, and economic circumstances. This architecture can be classified into various formal types in terms of their external form, internal space, and function (religious, tombs, residential, and shelter).

In Iran, many magnificent cases of this architecture have taken place in different regions due to its various climates. This unique architecture is at odds with the conventional settlement patterns and construction methods and is always can take advantage of the mountains and valleys on the floor or wall, which is a good way to control climate fluctuation in different regions.

ABU/AFM 
 

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