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Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region

Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region

The eight archaeological sites situated in three geographical areas in the southeast of Fars Province: Firuzabad, Bishapur and Sarvestan. The fortified structures, palaces and city plans date back to the earliest and latest times of the Sassanian Empire, which stretched across the region from 224 to 658 CE. Among these sites is the capital built by the founder of the dynasty, Ardashir Papakan, as well as a city and architectural structures of his successor, Shapur I. The archaeological landscape reflects the optimized utilization of natural topography and bears witness to the influence of Achaemenid and Parthian cultural traditions and of Roman art, which had a significant impact on the architecture of the Islamic era.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Paysage archéologique sassanide de la région du Fars

Situés dans le sud-est de la province iranienne du Fars, les huit sites archéologiques se trouvent dans trois zones géographiques : Firouzabad, Bishapour et Savestan. Les structures fortifiées, palais et plans urbains remontent aux premiers et derniers moments de l'Empire sassanide, qui s'étendait dans la région entre 224 et 658 de notre ère. Les sites comprennent notamment la première capitale du fondateur de la dynastie, Ardachir Papakan, ainsi qu'une ville et des structures architecturales de son successeur, le roi Shapur Ier. Ce paysage archéologique, qui s'appuie sur une exploitation optimale de la topographie naturelle, témoigne de l'influence des traditions culturelles achéménides et parthes, et de l'art romain qui eurent un impact important sur l'architecture de la période islamique.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

المنظر الساساني الأثري في منطقة فارس

يضم هذا المنظر، الواقع جنوب شرق محافظة فارس الإيرانية، ثمانية مواقع أثرية موزعة في ثلاث مناطق جغرافية، هي: فيروز آباد، وبیشاپور، سرفيستان. وتعود هذه المنشآت المحصنة والقصور والمخططات الحضرية إلى بدايات ونهايات الإمبراطورية الساسانية التي حكمت المنطقة بين عامي 224 و 658 بعد الميلاد. وتضم هذه المواقع بوجه خاص العاصمة الأولى لأردشير الأول الذي أنشأ السلالة الحاكمة، وكذلك مدينة ومنشآت أثرية تعود لخلفه، الملك شابور الأول. ويعدّ هذا المنظر الأثري، القائم على الاستخدام الأمثل للمعالم والتضاريس الطبيعية، شاهداً على التأثير الكبير للتقاليد الثقافية لسلالة الأخمينيون والإمبراطورية الفرثية، والفن الروماني، على فن العمارة والأنماط الفنية الإسلامية. 

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

法尔斯地区的萨珊王朝考古遗址

该遗产地包含8个考古遗址,分布在 Firuzabad 省东南部的三个地区:Bishapur、Sarvestan和Sarvestan。这些带防御设施的建筑、宫殿和城市规划可以覆盖了整个萨珊帝国时期(公元224-658年),当年这些地区都在帝国疆域之内。这些遗址中还包括由王朝创始人Ardashir Papakan建立的首都,以及其继任者沙普尔一世的城市。建筑构造反映了对自然地貌的优化利用, 见证了波斯和帕提亚文化传统和罗马艺术在伊斯兰时代对建筑和艺术风格的重大影响。

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Сасанидский археологический ландшафт в провинции Фарс

Эти восемь археологических объектов расположены в трех географических зонах юго-восточной части иранской провинции Фарс: Фирузабад, Бишапур и Сервестан. Эти укрепленные структуры, дворцы и планы городского развития относятся к раннему и позднему периоду государства Сасанидов, существовавшего в этом регионе между 224 и 658 гг. нашей эры. Объекты включают первую столицу основателя династии Ардашира Папакана, а также город и архитектурные сооружения его преемника правителя Шапура I. Этот археологический ландшафт, отражающий оптимальное использование естественной топографии, свидетельствует о влиянии ахеменидских и парфянских культурных традиций, а также римского искусства, оказавшего существенное воздействие на архитектуру и художественные стили исламского периода.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Paisaje arqueológico sasánida de la región del Fars

Situados al sureste de la provincia iraní del Fars, estos ocho sitios arqueológicos se encuentran en tres zonas geográficas: Firuzabad, Bishapur y Savestan. Se trata de estructuras fortificadas, palacios y planos urbanos cuya construcción se remonta a los primeros y últimos momentos del imperio sasánida, que se extendió en la región entre los años 224 y 658 de nuestra era. Los sitios comprenden en particular la primera capital del fundador de la dinastía, Ardachir Papakan y una ciudad y estructuras arquitectónicas debidas a su sucesor, el rey Shapur Iº. Este paisaje arqueológico, que se apoya en una explotación óptima de la topografía natural, atestigua la influencia de las tradiciones culturales aqueménidas y partas y de los intercambios con el arte romano, que tuvieron una importante influencia en la arquitectura y los enfoques artísticos del periodo islámico.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

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Qal'eh Dokhtar © ICHHTO
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

The serial property Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars Region is composed of 8 selected archaeological site components in three geographical area contexts at Firuzabad, Bishapur and Sarvestan, all located in the Fars Province of southern Iran. The components include fortification structures, palaces, reliefs and city remains dating back to the earliest and latest moments of the Sassanid Empire, which stretched across the region from 224 to 651 CE. Among the sites are the dynasty founder Ardashir Papakan’s military headquarters and first capital, and a city and architectural structures of his successor, the ruler Shapur I. In Sarvestan, a monument dating into the Early Islamic period illustrates the transition from the Sassanid to the Islamic era.

The ancient cities of Ardashir Khurreh and Bishapur include the most significant remaining testimonies of the earliest moments of the Sassanid Empire, the commencement under Ardashir I and the establishment of power under both Ardashir I and his successor Shapur I. In locations strategically selected for defence purposes, the cities were planned in their surrounding environments and illustrate urban typologies, such as the circular shape of Ardashir Khurreh, which became influential to later Sassanid and Islamic cities. The surrounding landscape was imprinted with Sassanid testimonies, such as the reliefs and sculptures cut into the rock cliffs and the defensive structures protecting the cities. The architecture of the Sassanid monuments in the property further illustrates early examples of construction of domes with squinches on square spaces, such as in the chahar-taq buildings, where the four sides of the square room show arched openings: this architectural form turned into the most typical form of Sassanid religious architecture, relating closely to the expansion and stabilization of Zoroastrianism under Sassanid reign and continuing during the Islamic era thanks to its usage in religious and holy buildings such as mosques and tombs.

Criterion (ii): The Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars region was influenced by the Achaemenid and Parthian cultural and ritual traditions, and references their architectural and artistic approaches. This is illustrated in the rock-carving techniques of the reliefs in the Firuzabad and Bishapur components and the sculpture of Shapur I in Tang-e Chogan. Likewise, particularly in Bishapur, the property illustrates influences deriving from the encounter with Roman art and architecture, contemporaneous with it. The Sassanid urban plan of Ardashir Khurreh inspired city planning throughout the region well into the Islamic era and Sarvestan Monument demonstrates how Sassanid architectural language continued to be utilized in Early Islamic times.

Criterion (iii): The property bears an exceptional testimony to the Early Sassanid Civilization and its contribution to the distribution and establishment of Zoroastrianism. As for the architectural language, the chahar-taq form illustrates best the linkages of Zoroastrianism and Sassanid rule: the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region encompasses Zoroastrian monumental architecture from its very beginning with the Takht-e Neshin, its consolidation at Bishapur, here in particular with the fire temple formerly interpreted as Shapur’s Palace and its development during the Early Islamic time with the Sarvestan Monument. The layout and location of the two first Sassanid ruling cities are testimonies to the legitimization and hierarchy of power as well as ritual ceremonies.

Criterion (v): The Sassanid archaeological landscape represents a highly efficient system of land use and strategic utilization of natural topography in the creation of the earliest cultural centres of the Sassanid civilization. Using indigenous construction materials and based on optimal exploitation of the surrounding natural resources including mountains, plains and rivers, a diverse set of urban structures, castles, buildings, bas-reliefs and other relevant monuments took shape within the landscape. Overall the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region is an outstanding example of the traditional land-use of Fars region where water management plays a fundamental role, and in which the Sassanid foundation of inhabited settlements and monumental buildings integrates itself in the landscape.

Integrity

The monuments of the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region, Islamic Republic of Iran, retain a high degree of integrity in visual and spatial terms. The property does not suffer from effects of development, except for a settlement expansion east of Ardashir Palace and a road construction at Bishapur. Both are controlled to prevent further expansion or similar developments.

The Sassanid archaeological sites, monuments and buildings are far from urban spaces and are strategically integrated into their surrounding topography, including straits, rivers, gorges and plains around them. Some of these landscape features, which carry attributes of the Outstanding Universal Value, are not yet included within the property boundaries and a boundary adjustment is foreseen to integrate separate serial components within the surrounding landscape.

Authenticity

The property is largely intact and most interventions which could have impacted the urban plans or would have changed historical construction materials or caused negative transformation in the setting and natural environment surrounding the monuments were avoided in accordance with the existing legal regulations.

Qal’e-ye Dokhtar, Ardashir Palace and Sarvestan, despite having been affected by past earthquakes and being subject to visible deterioration processes, can be considered authentic in form and design. Participation of traditional master workers familiar with the usage of traditional methods and construction materials has contributed to the preservation of authenticity. However, some of the restorations done on the structures at these sites, namely where wall facings have been applied to avoid crumbling of the core masonry, also include a large percentage of new materials, including plaster and black cement, with new stones used for the facing of the walls. The vault of the main ivan of Ardashir Palace in Firuzabad has been partly reconstructed for static reasons using concrete and stone facings.

The rock reliefs of Ardashir and those of Tang-e Chogan retain a largely authentic condition. Despite the transformation of the land due to agricultural activities, Ardashir Khurreh still preserves its authentic form and design. Nevertheless, this is rather vulnerable as it could change very quickly with adjunctions of parcels of land as a result of inheritance or other division which would affect the shape of the plots and could eventually remove part of the original design of the city. In general, the settings of most of the components still preserve their authentic aspects as they were during the Sassanid period.

Protection and management requirements

The individual property components are as monuments and archaeological sites at the national level, such as Qal’e-ye Dokhtar, number 269 in 1315 A.H (1936 CE), Ardashir Palace, number 89 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE), Ardashir Khurreh, number 17 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE), Sassanid Atashkadeh (fire temple) of Ardashir Khurreh, number 289 in 1316 A.H, (1937 CE), the historic city of Bishapur, number 24 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE), and Sarvestan monument, number 23 in 1310 A.H (1931 CE).

Within the context of these designations, the State Party developed specific regulations, not only for the property areas but also for the buffer zones and, where existing, landscape zones. These are largely relevant. Merely at Ardashir Khurreh, the permissibility of agricultural use should be carefully considered and preceded by archaeological and geophysical surveys confirming the absence of underground archaeological remains.

The Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) is responsible for the conservation and management of the property. The state of conservation of Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars region is at times critical and planning and implementation of adequate conservation measures needs to be given highest priority. The anticipated coordinated approach to conservation envisaged by the State Party needs to be laid out in a conservation plan and implemented consistently to ensure the long-term preservation of the property.

The property is administered by a structure established for the purpose of its management, which is referred to as SALF Base (Sassanid Archaeological Landscape in the Fars Region Base). The Base reports to both the Deputy Director of Tourism and the Deputy Director for Cultural Heritage Conservation in ICHHTO but is coordinated primarily through the Cultural Heritage Conservation department. The Base is advised and guided by a Steering and a Technical Committee. The integrated management and conservation plan for the property, which shall integrate dedicated sections of risk preparedness, disaster response and a monitoring system, will be finalized.