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Saturday, 18-Nov-2006 18:58 Email | Share | Bookmark
Gonbad e kavous

Police Station
The Police is controling the Traffic
unshaved face
95 KMs to the border
We stayed night at one of my friend’s house who is a doctor in Behshahr.
Next morning, we woke up very soon and leaved Behshahr to Gorgan. On our way, we passed through Gaz Harbor which is located near Gorgan Gulf, an attractive, wonderful, and small gulf in Mazandaran Sea.
As we didn’t have much time to visit “ the new archaeological discoveries” in Gorgan (the Capital of Golestan Province). We just passed through there while we took lots of photos.
Gorgan was very clean, and had wide streets. Near Gorgan there was a very huge and magnificent wall which was dated to Sasanid Period and was far from the city.
We couldn’t organize our time to visit this wonderful wall, because we should come back Tehran that night; so we missed it for our other programs.
This wall is about 150 km long and was constructed simultaneously with the construction of “China Wall”. Now a group of archaeologists gradually are digging the wall in Gorgan.
But we visited the museum of Gorgan, and the employers of there received us warmly. Not only they even didn’t let us to pay the entrance fee, but also they let us to take photos.
It’s essential to mention that 70km away from Gorgan, there is a village that all the graves had the gravestones which were separated by “the female and male genital organ”. One of my friends took photos of this noticeable place; I’ll show them later.
After visiting the museum, we leaved Gorgan to Gonba-e kavoos again, which was 150km.(I had to remind that from Behshar to Gorgan there was about 80km far)
Better to notice you about the quality of the road that was totally highway, with the best quality of asphalt.
We reached Gonba-e kavoos near noon. We faced with Turkoman (Turkman) people there with their interesting and different clothes, race, culture, and etc.(to other Iranian people).
This special tribe was settled in the northeast part of Iran and Mazandaran Sea. They came from the deserts of beyond Transoxiana and were immigrated to the west region after 14th century.
As Iran is the cradle of all nations and tribes over thousands years, Turkoman tribes were mixed with Iranian culture and people, and as before, became one of Iranian nations and tribes for ever.
We reached the high tower of “Gonbad-e Kavoos”. I referred you to one of the complete, much used, and popular encyclopaedias, “Iranica”; but I didn’t find any information about the window on the cone, on the east part of the tower.
According to the researches and studies of archaeologists, The King (“kvoos-ebne Voushmgir”) ordered to his men to put his mummified dead body in a glass coffin and hang it from the ceiling. The role of that window was reflecting the sun rays to the glass coffin, and making it shiny. But probably, 200 years later, after Mangolians attack to Iran, the coffin was disappeared up to now.

Gonbad-e Qabus is a tall tower that marks the grave of the Ziyarid ruler Qabus b. Voshmgir (r. 978-1012). It is the major monument (Iranian National Monument no. 86) of the town of Gonbad-e Qabus after which the town itself is named.
In plan, the building is a flanged circle, with an interior diameter of 9.67 meters at the base and three-meter walls articulated with ten right-angled buttresses spaced regularly around the exterior. The single entrance doorway, set between two buttresses on the southeast, is surmounted by trilobed niches, some of the earliest evidence for the development of the moqarnas, or stalactite vaulting, in Persia. Formally, the building is therefore a simple and logical variant of the type of cylindrical tomb tower found along the Caspian littoral at sites such as Radkan and Lajim.
What sets the Gonbad-e Qabus apart from its contemporaries is its extraordinary height: including the conical roof, it measures 52 meters, some three times its diameter. The verticality is enhanced by its position on a 10-meter artificial hillock. Like a skyscraper, the tower thus dominates the surrounding plain and can be seen as far away as 30 kilometers.
The tomb is entirely constructed of fine-quality baked brick whose pale yellow color has been turned golden by the sun. The technical quality of the construction is clear from its almost perfect survival despite the ravages of time, climate, and even reported shelling by the Russians. The only decoration comprises two inscription bands which ring the building above the doorway and below the roof. Each band is divided into ten panels, one set between each pair of buttresses. The text, which is repeated in the two bands, states that the amir Qabus b. Voshmgir ordered the building during his lifetime in the lunar year 397 (27 September 1006-16 September 1007) and the solar year 375 (15 March 1006-14 March 1007). The two dates allow us to bracket the date of commissioning between late September 1006 and mid-March 1007.
The patron was the fourth ruler of the local Ziyarid line which controlled Tabarestan and Gorgan during the so-called "Daylamite interlude" in the 10th and 11th centuries. Qabus, though reportedly a bloodthirsty tyrant, was also a noted patron of the arts. The philosopher and physician Ebn Sina (q.v. Avicenna) took refuge at his court; so did the scholar and polymath Biruni (q.v.), who wrote his first and best-known work, the calendrical treatise entitled Atòar al-baq^a (q.v.) there. Qabus himself was a poet and proponent of the new type of rhymed prose. His interests and talents are clear from the foundation inscription, which is composed in rhymed prose and uses two calendars, the Muslim lunar and Iranian solar. The sober style of the script—tall angular letters formed of cut bricks once covered with a plaster slip—contrasts with the decorative style found on many contemporary buildings and shows that the inscription, like the building itself, was designed to stand out from afar. The carefully planned text combines with the tower's formal purity and soaring verticality to make it one of the most famous and memorable monuments in all of Iranian architecture.

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