Dahaneh-e Gholaman, ancient city in heart of Sistan desert
- Dahaneh-e Gholaman located in Sistan and Baluchestan province, is the only ancient city made of clay and mud with unique architecture and shows the inclusive governance of the Achaemenid empire over its eastern areas.
Dahaneh-e Gholaman is about 2 km far from the villages of Deh Rostam, Qaleh-e Nou and 42 km from the provincial capital city of Zabol.
The inscriptions of the Achaemenid era, Biston, Persepolis and Naghsh-e Rostam pointed out to the city as Zark or Zarnkai, and its ruins and monuments are located in an area of about 4 to 5 kilometers.
Dahaneh-e Gholaman was discovered by Italian archaeologists in 1960 and they conducted the excavation operation from 1962 to 1965.
The city includes large public buildings, temples, residential neighborhoods, streets, waterways, and military and industrial districts, which shows the city was developed and large.
This is the only mud-brick city dating back to the Achaemenid era, unlike other ruins left from the period, which show the life of kings and their palaces. The residents of ordinary people are next to huge public buildings and government structures.
This is also one of the unique cities in the eastern parts of Iran that has been constructed based on a plan so that the engineers of that time first drew a map of the city and then started the construction project.
The traditional Achaemenid structural design is skillfully combined with the native architecture of Sistan and Baluchestan province. The buildings of the city are made entirely of clay with regular square or rectangular plans comprised of many columns with dome and roofs.
The most evident element of the city is the attention of its people to religion and the special rituals of worship, which is why many people know this city as the temple of Dahaneh-e Gholaman.
Another feature of Dahaneh-e Gholaman is the lack of fortifications and defensive walls, which shows the security stability of that era.
The lack of fortifications, defensive walls, towers and gates show a kind of economic stability and political prosperity of the Achaemenid empire, while most areas of the first millennium had military and defense fortifications.
The industrial area of Dahaneh-e Gholaman was outside the residential and urban districts.
Many experts believe that the city had a short lifespan of between 150 and 200 years in the fifth and sixth centuries BC, and it was different from other ancient cities.
Dahaneh-e Gholaman was of great importance in the Achaemenid era and when water flowed in the Helmand river. Archaeologists believe that one of the main reasons for the abandonment of the city was the sudden drying of the Helmand river.
The name of the city stems from a natural gorge with the same name. The gorge was one of the entrances to the plateau, and slave traders brought African slaves to Iran for sale through this region.
Among the significant works discovered in the city, there are two unique paintings on the wall of one of the rooms of this ancient city.
The first painting discovered at a height of nearly 90 cm from the floor, which was painted in black and was decorated with white dots, depicting a scene of hunting.
The remnants in the city include two groups of main structure and a number of buildings. A part of Dahaneh-e Gholaman is located in the western part along the waterway filled with moving sand and the other part, the eastern part of the city, is divided into two equal parts.
About 100 clay cups were discovered in the city. The total number of pottery found in Dahaneh-e Gholaman is about 50,000 pieces.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA