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Part 2


The cornice along the top of the platform has the profile of a cymation and shows light Hellenistic influence (Azarnoush, pp. 69-94, fig. 6, pls. 14.1, 15.).

On the cornice stood, at a distance of about 2.90 m from plinth to plinth, a row of columns, six of which are still in situ near the northwestern corner of the platform. The column base is 65-66 cm high, the column shaft 234-36 cm high, and the capital 53-54 cm, for a total height of 354 cm. Arches, spanning from capital to capital, formed a colonnade, possibly closed by a battlement. The colonnade is reconstructed to a height of about 8 m (Azarnoush, figs. 6-9 and pls. 14.2, 16-18).

The construction and position of the two staircases are reminiscent of the Achaemnenid staircase ramps of Persepolis and of Sasanian staircases, like the one at the ʿEmārat-e Ḵosrow in Qaṣr-e Širin (Kleiss). The construction of the walls of the platform and staircases at Kangavar is much less careful than that of Persepolis and is similar to that of Qaṣr-e Širin. The idea of constructing  the staircase ramps in the Achemenid manner is doubtless an Iranian inheritance, mixed with a slight Hellenistic-Roman influence concerning the details of the cornice and the pseudo-Roman colonnade.

It is questionable whether the Temple of Anāhitā described by Isidorus of Charax is identical with the ruins of Kangavar.

Isidorus evidently described a different, earlier temple of the first century CE, either somewhere else in the region of Congobar (Kangavar) or at the location of the later platform. The latter, according to the results of the excavation, seems to have been built in Sasanian times, perhaps under Ḵosrow II Parvēz (r. 590-628; Azarnoush, p. 85; cf. Ebn Rosta, p. 167; Nozhat al-qolub, ed. and tr. Le Strange, p. 108, tr. p. 107).

The function of the platform of Kangavar is not clear yet, and further excavations are necessary to throw light on it. The older reconstructions on the terrace of a “Greek Temple” surrounded by columned halls (Ghirshman, pl. 31), cannot yet be confirmed as such, because there is not enough archeological evidence for a temple-like building.


The suggestion that it is a palace-like building constructed by Ḵosrow II Parvēz at the end of Sasanian period sounds convincing, with respect to the careless construction of the platform and its stone setting, the mason marks, and the details of columns, bases, capitals, and the cornice; but there are no traces (ground plan) of a palace architecture. So this idea also remains pure theory, like other ideas concerning the function of the Kangavar complex, for instance an open-air sanctuary on the terrace overlooking the plain of Kangavar to the south of the platform. Sanctuary terraces have been used in nearly all periods of the history of Iranian architecture (Kleiss, pp. 227-68). Until detailed further excavations are carried out, no definite judgements may be declared on the function of Kangavar platform; one can only date it to the late Sasanian time.

Source: encyclopedia.thefreedictionary.com

Source 2: wikipedia.org

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