The Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars Region – World Cultural Heritage in Iran

The eight archaeological sites are located in three geographical areas in the southeastern part of Fars province: Firuzabad, Bishapur and Sarvestan. Fortified structures, palaces, and city plans date back to the earliest and newest periods of the Sassanian Empire, which spanned the region from AD 224 to AD 658. Among these sites are the capital built by the dynasty’s founder, Ardashir Papakan, as well as the city and structures of his successor, Shapur I. The archeological landscape reflects the optimal use of the natural topography and is evidence of Achaemenid influence and the Parthian cultural tradition and Roman art, which had a significant impact on the architecture of the Islamic period.

Engraving date: 2018
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(v)
Property : 639.3 ha
Buffer zone: 12,715 ha

Outstanding global value

The Serial Heritage of the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars Region comprises eight archaeological site components selected in three geographical contexts at Firuzabad, Bishapur and Sarvestan, all located in Fars Province, southern Iran. . Components include fortifications, palaces, bas-reliefs, and city ruins dating to the earliest and newest of the Sassanid Empire, which spanned the region from AD 224 to AD 651. Among the sites of the first military headquarters and capital of dynasty founder Ardashir Papakan, the city and structures of his successor, ruler Shapur I. In Sarvestan, a monument dating from the early Islamic period illustrating the transition from the Sassanid house to the Islamic state of the era.

The ancient cities of Ardashir Khurreh and Bishapur include the most important surviving evidence of the earliest moments of the Sassanid Empire, its beginnings under Ardashir I and the establishment of power under both Ardashir I and him his successor was Shapur I. At strategically selected sites for defensive purposes, cities were planned in their surroundings and illustrated urban patterns, such as the circular shape of Ardashir Khurreh , which influenced later Muslim and Sassanid cities. The surrounding landscape is imprinted with Sassanid evidence, such as reliefs and sculptures cut into the cliffs and defensive structures protecting the cities. The architecture of the Sassanid monuments in the site further illustrates early examples of dome construction with squares on square spaces,

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Criterion (ii): The Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars is influenced by Achaemenid and Parthian cultural and ceremonial traditions and references architectural and artistic approaches of the Fars. Surname. This is illustrated in the rock carving technique of reliefs in the Firuzabad and Bishapur components and the sculpture of Shapur I at Tang-e Chogan. Likewise, especially in Bishapur, the property illustrates the influences that stemmed from an encounter with Roman art and architecture, contemporaneous with it. Ardashir Khurreh’s Sassanid Urban Planning has inspired city planning throughout the region since the Islamic era, and the Sarvestan Monument demonstrates how the Sassanid architectural language continued to be used during this period. Early Islam.

Criterion (iii): The property is exceptional testimony to the Early Sassanid Civilization and its contribution to the distribution and establishment of Zoroastrianism. As for architectural language, the form of chahar-taq best illustrates the connection between Zoroastrianism and Sassanid rule: The Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars Region includes the monumental architecture of Zoroastrianism from the beginning with Takht-e Neshin, its amalgamation at Bishapur, here especially with the fire temple formerly known as Shapur’s Palace and its development in the early Islamic period with Sarvestan Monument. The layout and location of the first two Sassanid rulers is testament to the legalization and decentralization of power as well as ceremonial rituals.

Criterion (v): The Sassanid archaeological landscape exhibits a highly efficient land-use system and strategic use of natural topography in creating the earliest cultural centers of the Sassanid civilization. Using indigenous building materials and based on optimal exploitation of the surrounding natural resources including mountains, plains and rivers, a diverse set of urban structures, castles, buildings, reliefs and other related monuments have formed in the landscape. Overall, the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars Region is an outstanding example of the traditional land use of the Fars, where water management plays a fundamental role, and where the foundation of settlements is Sassanid inhabitants and monumental buildings blend into the landscape.


The monuments of the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars Region, Islamic Republic of Iran, retain a high degree of visual and spatial integrity. The property has not been affected by development, except for the expansion of the settlement east of Ardashir Palace and the construction of a road at Bishapur. Both are controlled to prevent further expansion or similar growth.

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Sassanid archaeological sites, monuments and buildings are far removed from urban space and are strategically integrated into the surrounding terrain, including the surrounding straits, rivers, canyons and plains. Some of these landscape features, which carry properties of Outstanding Universal Value, are not yet included in the property boundary and are expected to adjust the boundary to integrate separate serial components within the property. surrounding landscape.


The heritage is largely intact and most interventions can affect urban planning or change historic building materials or cause negative changes in the surrounding natural environment and context. monuments are avoided according to current legal regulations.

Qal’e-ye Dokhtar, Palace of Ardashir and Sarvestan, although affected by past earthquakes and visible deterioration, can be considered original in form and design. next. The involvement of traditional craftsmen familiar with the use of traditional construction methods and materials has contributed to the preservation of authenticity. However, some of the restorations performed on structures at these sites, specifically where the wall faces have been applied to avoid breakage of the core masonry, also include a large proportion of new materials, consists of plaster and black cement, with new stone used for the sides of the walls. The vault of the main stallion of the Ardashir Palace in Firuzabad was partially reconstructed for static reasons using concrete and stone facades.

The stone reliefs of Ardashir and of Tang-e Chogan have remained in near-original condition. Despite the transformation of the land due to agricultural activities, Ardashir Khurreh has preserved its original form and design. However, this is quite vulnerable as it can change very quickly with the transfer of plots due to inheritance or other division, which will affect the shape of the plots and can eventually removed part of the city’s original design. Overall, the installation of most of the components still preserves their authentic aspects as in the Sassanid period.

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Protection and management requirements

The individual property components are national monuments and archaeological sites, such as Qal’e-ye Dokhtar, number 269 of 1315 AH (1936 AD), Ardashir Palace, number 89 of 1310 AH (1931) Sun), Ardashir Khurreh, number 17 year 1310 AH (1931 AD), Sassanid Atashkadeh (fire temple) by Ardashir Khurreh, number 289 year 1316 AH, (1937 AD), historical city Bishapur, number 24 year 1310 AH (1931) Sun), and the Sarvestan monument, number 23 of 1310 AH (1931 AD).

In the context of these designations, Member States have developed specific regulations, not only for property areas but also for buffer zones and, where applicable, landscape areas. This is largely relevant. At Ardashir Khurreh alone, permission for agricultural use needs careful consideration and preceded by archaeological and geophysical surveys confirming the absence of underground archaeological remains.

The Iran Cultural Heritage, Crafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) is responsible for the conservation and management of the property. The conservation status of the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars is sometimes critical, and planning and implementing appropriate conservation measures should be given the highest priority. The proposed coordinated approach to conservation envisaged by the State Party should be included in a conservation plan and implemented consistently to ensure the long-term preservation of the property. long.

The property is managed by a structure established for its management purposes, known as SALF Base (Sassanid Archeological Landscape in Fars Regional Base). The facility reports to both the Deputy Director of Tourism and the Deputy Director of Cultural Heritage Conservation within ICHHTO but is coordinated primarily through the Cultural Heritage Conservation division. The base is advised and guided by a Steering Committee and a Technical Committee. An integrated conservation and management plan for the property, which will integrate dedicated sections on risk preparedness, disaster response and monitoring systems, will be finalized.

Map of the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of the Fars . region

Video of the Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars

See also: UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites

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