Monday, June 1, 2009
Journey to the First Millennium BC: Solomon's Throne and Prison
Over the mountain to the north of the Passargad plain, Iran, there is a beautiful area with large stony-white walls, in which many artifacts have been found. Thus, witnessing the reality that this place had been inhabited even before the Achaemenid period, and was most probably used as a praying site. The discovered objects belong to 4000 BC. To view a panaromic image of this place, click here.
The ancient, historical fort Takhte Soleiman (Solomon's Throne) occupies an area of about 124,000 square metres and is one of Iran’s most important ancient monuments, comprising ruins dating back to the Sassanid, Ashkanian, and Moghul periods.
Takhte Soleiman is in the district of Takab at an altitude of 2,400 metres and consists of a majestic building about 20m. High, erected on top of a hill, and a strong stone battlement. One enters the monument through a large gate above which traces of an inscription in Kufic style can be seen, which belongs to the Moghul period and is indicative of the reparation of the place in that period. The walls and the remains of 38 towers are built around a crater lake which approximately dates back to 3rd century AD. The wall and towers are still intact and standing.
The present monument is believed to have originally been the site of the famous Azargashasb (Shiz) fire-altar and the birth place of Zaroaster, and its construction has been attributed to the Parthian and Sassanid sovereigns.
Soleiman Prison, 5 km from the castle, has architectural works in stone and clay that date back to the first millennium B.C. Legend has it that the place used to be a prison for locking up demons on a mountain top maybe during the days of Prophet Soleiman (Solomon). There used to be an inactive volcano on its top as well. The terrible prison was about 100 meters high and used to discharge an unpleasant smell of gas.