220 historical ruins identified in tiny town

February 28, 2023 - 22:1

TEHRAN –Some 220 historical properties have been identified across the small town of Khatam in central Yazd province over the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 21, 2022).

Dating back from the Middle Paleolithic period to the Qajar-era (1789-1925), the properties included monuments, castles, qanats and sites, Iranian archaeologist Mohammad Hossein Azizi said on Tuesday.

However, in the course of time, most historical sites in this region have been damaged due to extensive agricultural activities, he added.

Despite being located in the center of Iran between different prehistoric, historical, and Islamic cultures in the central plateau, Yazd province has been less explored in terms of archeology, he noted.

In July 2017, the historical structure of the city of Yazd was named a UNESCO World Heritage. Wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and the southern Dasht-e Lut on a flat plain, the oasis city enjoys a very harmonious public-religious architecture that dates from different eras.

Yazd is usually referred to as a delightful place to stay, or a “don't miss” destination by almost all of its visitors. It teems with mud-brick houses that are equipped with innovative badgirs (wind catchers), atmospheric alleyways, and many Islamic and Iranian monuments that shape its eye-catching city landscape.

It is a living testimony to the intelligent use of limited available resources in the desert for survival. Water is brought to the city by the qanat system. Each district of the city is built on a qanat and has a communal center.

Buildings are built of earth. The use of earth in buildings includes walls and roofs through the construction of vaults and domes. Houses are built with courtyards below ground level, serving underground areas. Wind catchers, courtyards, and thick earthen walls create a pleasant microclimate.

Partially covered alleyways, together with streets, public squares, and courtyards, contribute to a pleasant urban quality. The city escaped the modernization trends that destroyed many traditional earthen cities.

It survives today with its traditional districts, the qanat system, traditional houses, bazaars, hammams, water cisterns, mosques, synagogues, Zoroastrian temples, and the historic garden of Dolat-Abad. The city enjoys the peaceful coexistence of three religions: Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism.


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