Day 72 Firuzabad – The Circular City

The city of Firuzabad, the ancient Sasanian town of Gūr, is located in the Iranian province of Fars south of Shiraz. The archaeologist Dietrich Huff, who has worked at the DAI field office in Teheran since 1972, surveys the city. His investigations show that the plan of the old town is a perfect circle of 1,950 m diameter, precisely divided by a radial and concentric road system into 20 sectors. A city wall and a moat fortify the circular city.

City plan of Firuzabad. Copyright: DAI

King Ardašír I, the founder of the Sasanian Empire, initiated the construction of the city in the 3rd century AD. During his field visits, Dietrich Huff also explores the fire temple and other monuments of the region. Two rock carvings near the city pay tribute to the coronation and victory of Ardašīr I. In close proximity to Firuzabad Dietrich begins excavations in the early Sasanian castle of Qal’e Dokhtar. The fortification served as a residence and was built at the same time as the city of Gūr. Even today, the royal palace on the mountain slope dominates the plain and river below.

Ruins of Qal’e Dokhtar. Copyright: DAI