Experts discuss ways to help safeguard Astarabad

May 21, 2023 - 17:50

TEHRAN – On Sunday, a panel of cultural heritage experts, professional restorers, and archaeologists exchanged views to help safeguard the ancient city of Astarabad, which lies at the southeastern corner of the Caspian Sea, northern Iran.

The meeting was held after Golestan province's tourism directorate approved detailed plans to protect the ancient city, based on which the historical core of Astarabad will be maintained as a lively, dynamic area, relying on its heritage values in connection with the surrounding environment.

Astarabad is located on a small tributary of the Qareh River, 37 km from the Caspian Sea. Suffered from the incursions of the Turkmen tribes occupying the plain north of the Qareh River, the city, which dates back to the Achaemenian period, was subject to incessant tribal conflicts between Qajars and Turkmen in the 19th century. In the 1930s, it was renamed Gorgan after it was destroyed by an earthquake.

Golestan embraces hundreds of historical and natural sites, with UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus – a one-millennium-old brick tower – amongst its most famous. The province is famed for being home to an ancient defensive wall of the same name (“The Great Wall of Gorgan”) which stretched some 200 km in length and was built to prevent the invasion of the northern tribes.

Also known as the Red Wall or the Red Snake, it is the longest ancient barrier between Central Europe and China, longer than Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall put together, and the third-largest wall in the world after the walls of China and Germany. However, most parts of the gigantic monument are still hidden underneath the surface through some segments that have so far been unearthed and even restored to their former glory.


Leave a Comment