Day 10 60 years of excavations at Takht-e Soleyman

60 years ago the DAI’s excavations began at Takht-e Soleyman in the province of West Azerbaijan in Iran. The complex of buildings around a lake on a calcareous sinter plateau was a place of pilgrimage with a fire temple, Azar Goshnasp, in Sassanid times (224-642). In the Ilkhanid period (1256-1353) a palace stood on the Takht (“throne”).

View of Takht-e Soleyman in the 1970s (Poto: B. Grunwald, DAI Tehran)

The DAI’s excavations in the years 1959-1966 and 1968-1978 led to a complete reappraisal of the complex. One of the earliest photos shows labourers transporting architectural blocks on timber posts across the site. The architectural members were centrally documented, numbered and partly restored before being reassembled at their original location.