jump to the content

Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

The 65m-tall Minaret of Jam is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century. Covered in elaborate brickwork with a blue tile inscription at the top, it is noteworthy for the quality of its architecture and decoration, which represent the culmination of an architectural and artistic tradition in this region. Its impact is heightened by its dramatic setting, a deep river valley between towering mountains in the heart of the Ghur province.

Minaret et vestiges archéologiques de Djam

Haut de 65m, le minaret de Djam est une construction gracieuse et élancée datant du XIIe siècle. Recouvert d’une décoration complexe en briques et portant une inscription de tuiles bleues au sommet, il est remarquable par la qualité de son architecture et de ses motifs décoratifs, qui représentent l’apogée d’une tradition artistique propre à cette région. Son impact est renforcé par un environnement spectaculaire : une vallée profonde qui s’ouvre entre d’imposantes montagnes au cœur de la province du Ghor.

مئذنة جام وبقاياها الاثرية

إن مئذنة جام بناء رشيق وممشوق؛ يبلغ ارتفاعها 65 متراً وتُرقى إلى القرن الثاني عشر. تغطيها زينة معقّدة التركيب من القرميد وتعلو قمتها كتابات بالقرميد الأزرق. تتميّز المئذنة بنوعية هندستها المعمارية ورسومها التزيينية التي تمثل قمّة التقاليد الفنية الخاصة بالمنطقة. ويزداد أثرها أهمية بفضل المحيط المذهل الذي تقع فيه، لأنها في وادٍِ عميق مفتوح بين جبال شاهقة وسط إقليم غور.

source: UNESCO/ERI

查姆回教寺院尖塔和考古遗址

65米高的查姆尖塔庄严肃穆,高耸入云,其历史可追溯到公元12世纪。塔外砌烧制精巧的砖石, 顶部饰有蓝色釉面的琉璃瓦铭刻建筑工艺高超,装饰精美,代表了该地区建筑和艺术的最高水平。尖塔地处古尔省(Ghur province)心脏位置,依山傍水,从狭窄河谷中拔地而起,其独特的地理环境又为之平添了几分魅力。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Минарет и археологические объекты в Джеме

65-метровый минарет Джема – грациозное и как бы парящее в воздухе сооружение, построенное в XII в. Имеющий тщательно отделанную кирпичную поверхность с надписями по голубой плитке на завершении, минарет примечателен качеством своей архитектуры и отделки, представляющих кульминацию архитектурно-художественной традиции этого региона. Впечатление от минарета усиливается благодаря его нахождению в выразительном окружении, в глубокой речной долине, обрамленной высокими горами в самом сердце провинции Гур.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Minarete y vestigios arqueológicos de Jam

Con sus 65 metros de altura, el minarete de Jam es una construcción esbelta y llena de gracia que data del siglo XII. Se distingue por la compleja decoración con ladrillo de sus paredes, rematada en la cúspide por una franja de cerámica azul con una inscripción. La calidad de su arquitectura y ornamentación es una muestra del apogeo de la tradición artística de la región. La belleza del sitio se ve realzada por su entorno espectacular: un profundo valle de imponentes laderas montañosas, situado en el centro de la provincia de Ghor.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ジャムのミナレットと考古遺跡群

source: NFUAJ

Minaret en archeologische overblijfselen van Jam

De 65-meter hoge Minaret van Jam dateert uit de 12e eeuw. De sierlijke, de-lucht-in-rijzende toren wordt bedekt door kunstig metselwerk en bovenin staat een inscriptie van blauwe tegels. De minaret is noemenswaardig vanwege de kwaliteit van zowel de architectuur van de toren als de erop aangebrachte decoraties. Hierdoor vormt de Minaret van Jam een hoogtepunt van architecturale en artistieke traditie in deze regio. De toren bevindt zich in een diepliggende riviervallei, omringd door de hoge bergen van de provincie Ghor. De toren lijkt hierdoor nog meer omhoog te rijzen en ook de geïsoleerde positie van de minaret wordt hierdoor benadrukt.

Source: unesco.nl

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Dutch
Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam © Claudio Margottini
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

At 1,900 m above sea level and far from any town, the Minaret of Jam rises within a rugged valley along the Hari-rud River at its junction with the river Jam around 215km-east of Herat. Rising to 65m from a 9m diameter octagonal base, its four superimposed, tapering cylindrical shafts are constructed from fired bricks. The Minaret is completely covered with geometric decoration in relief enhanced with a Kufic inscription in turquoise tiles. Built in 1194 by the great Ghurid Sultan Ghiyas-od-din (1153-1203), its emplacement probably marks the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh, believed to have been the summer capital of the Ghurid dynasty. Surrounding remains include a group of stones with Hebrew inscriptions from the 11th to 12th centuries on the Kushkak hill, and vestiges of castles and towers of the Ghurid settlements on the banks of the Hari River as well as to the east of the Minaret.

The Minaret of Jam is one of the few well-preserved monuments representing the exceptional artistic creativity and mastery of structural engineering of the time. Its architecture and ornamentation are outstanding from the point of view of art history, fusing together elements from earlier developments in the region in an exceptional way and exerting a strong influence on later architecture in the region. This graceful soaring structure is an outstanding example of the architecture and ornamentation of the Islamic period in Central Asia and played a significant role in their further dissemination as far as India as demonstrated by the Qutb Minar, Delhi, begun in 1202 and completed in the early 14th century.

Criterion (ii): The innovative architecture and decoration of the Minaret of Jam played a significant role in the development of the arts and architecture of the Indian sub-continent and beyond.

Criterion (iii): The Minaret of Jam and its associated archaeological remains constitute exceptional testimony to the power and quality of the Ghurid civilization that dominated the region in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Criterion (iv): The Minaret of Jam is an outstanding example of Islamic architecture and ornamentation in the region and played a significant role for further dissemination.

Integrity

Since the building of the Minaret around eight hundred years ago, no reconstruction or extensive restoration work has ever taken place in the area. The archaeological vestiges were surveyed and recorded in 1957 when the remains were first discovered by archaeologists. Subsequent surveys and studies have led only to simple precautionary stabilization measures to the base of the Minaret. Thus, the attributes that express the Outstanding Universal Value of the site, not least the Minaret itself, other architectural forms and their setting in the landscape, remain intact within the boundaries of the property and beyond.

Authenticity

The authenticity of the ensemble of the Minaret of Jam and the vestiges that surround it has never been questioned. The Minaret has always been recognised as a genuine architectural and decorative masterpiece by the experts and an artistic chef-d'oeuvre by the aesthetes. Its monumental Kufic inscriptions testify to the remote and glorious origin of its builders as well as giving evidence to its early dating (1194). No reconstruction or extensive restoration work has ever taken place in the area.

Protection and management requirements

The legal and institutional framework for the effective management of the Minaret and archaeological remains (70ha with a 600ha buffer zone), is regulated by the Department of Historic Monuments on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Culture of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The specific law under which the monument and its landscape are protected is the Law on the Protection of Historical and Cultural Properties (Ministry of Justice, 21 May 2004) whichis in force and provides the basis for financial and technical resources.

The property will be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger when its desired state of conservation is achieved in accordance with Decision 31 COM 7A.20. This must include the increased capacity of the staff of the Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information who are in charge of the preservation of the property; precise identification of the World Heritage property and clearly marked boundaries and buffer zones; assurance of the long-term stability and conservation of the Minaret; assurance of site security, and a comprehensive management system including the development and implementation of a long-term conservation policy.

Proposals for the protection of the Minaret and its environs are under scientific discussion. They would seek to monitor erosion of the riverbanks adjacent to the Minaret, any further movement in the level of inclination of the monument along with any degradation in the historic fabric in general, and mitigate any adverse observations with appropriate programs of stabilization and conservation measures where necessary. Measures for the protection and monitoring of the wider archaeological site are currently under review and an approved program of research and public awareness raising is likely to be instigated in the long term.

Long Description

The architecture and ornamentation of the minaret are outstanding from the point of view of art history, fusing together elements from earlier developments in the region in an exceptional way and exerting a strong influence on later architecture in the region. It is an outstanding example of Islamic architecture and ornamentation in this region and played a significant role in their further dissemination.

At 1,900 m above sea level and far from any town, the minaret rises within a rugged valley in the heart of Ghur Province. It is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century, believed to have been built to commemorate a major victory of the sultans of the Ghurid dynasty. Jam is believed to have been the summer residence of the Ghurid emperors and probably marks the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh, the capital of the Ghurid dynasty. An inscription gives the date of construction as 1194.

The minaret is one of the few well-preserved monuments representing the exceptional artistic creativity and mastery of structural engineering of the time. It was built on the south bank of the Hari River at the intersection of two canyon-like river valleys. Rising to 65 m from a 9 m diameter octagonal base, its four tapering cylindrical shafts are constructed of fired brick bonded with lime mortar. The exterior of the minaret is completely covered with geometric decoration in relief laid over the plain structural bricks. The first cylinder is the most decorated: it is divided into eight vertical segments, matching those of the base. Each vertical zone has a narrow band of inscriptions running in an unbroken line around each panel.

A group of stones with Hebrew inscriptions on the Kushkak hill between the minaret and the village of Jam, believed to date from the 11th to 12th centuries, probably came from a nearby Jewish cemetery. The remains of castles and towers of the Ghurid settlement are to be found on the opposite bank of the Hari River, north of the minaret and high on the cliff. There are also the remains of fortifications visible to the east of the minaret, giving the impression that the minaret was surrounded not by a settlement but by a military camp.

Since the minaret was built no major reconstruction or restoration work has taken place, apart from consolidation around its base. The archaeological remains have been surveyed and recorded in the 20th century but without any attempt at restoration or reconstruction, while the only excavation has been clandestine and uncontrolled.

 

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The Minaret of Jam probably marks the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh, the capital of the Ghurid dynasty that ruled Afghanistan and parts of northern India, from Kashgar to the Persian Gulf, in the 12th and 13th centuries. An inscription gives the date of construction as 1194, and another gives the name of the powerful reigning Ghurid emperor, Sultan Ghiyas ud-Din (1157-1202). It is likely that the Minaret was constructed to commemorate his victory at Delhi in 1192 over the Ghaznavid Empire, hence the name sometimes given to it, the Victory Tower.

The site of Jam is believed to have been the summer residence of the Ghurid Emperors. There are indications that the mosque to which the minaret was attached was of modest size, and disproportionate to the dimensions of the minaret, contrary to the basic principles of Islamic architecture.

After the death of Ghiyas ud-Din his brother Muiz ud-Din succeeded him. The Ghurid Empire came under intense pressure from its neighbours, the Kharizm, from south of the Aral Sea, and gradually yielded up its territories. Only at the mountainous retreat of Bamiyan did the dynasty survive, until its last ruler was captured and put to death in 1215. The town of Firuzkuh was destroyed by the Mongol Ogodaï in 1222.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation