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Ellipses & Circles

Observing the land and surroundings in which we live

Circular City of Gor

Translated Jeff Matthews

Firuzaband is a city in the south-western part of Iran, in the Fars region. The city is about 122 km from the Persian Gulf and the port city of Bandar-e Kangan. Adjacent to modern Firuzaband we find the traces of the perimeter of an ancient circular city named Gor (or Jur) in the Middle Ages. Today it is abandoned. It is on the left bank of the Dalaki river, a tributary of the Mand, on land that is green and cultivated.

Historical and archaeological research tells us that the area was inhabited even in prehistoric times and that the fortified city was built during the reign of Achaemenes. It was later conquered and destroyed by the forces of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). Then it was rebuilt by Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid Empire, who reigned from 211 to 241 and then conquered and sacked in the 7th century by the Arabs.

From satellite photos we see that the central area of the city still shows partially intact structures that define the original circle with a perimeter of about 440 meters. Externally there is a second circular trace with a diameter of 1970 meters with an embanked double belt-wall of rough brick enclosing an ample ditch or trench.

As far as internal roads are concerned, there is one still quite visible, though no longer straight, at around 10° N; the second one can be made out only partially, but must have been comparable to the first one terms of dimension. The ends of the four arms of the two roads all have gates.

The center of the concentric circle are still marked by the so-called Gate of Gor, probably a Zoroastrian temple called the Temple of Fire.

You can see all this from above on, for example, Google Maps. Coordinates: 28°51’10.2” N – 52°31’56.6” E (Google Maps: 28.852843, 52.532391).

Good viewing!

Gianluca Padovan (Ass.ne S.C.A.M. – F.N.C.A.)

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