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Bandiyān (North Khorāsān, Iran): A Sasanian Architectural Complex at the Gateway to Central Asia

Stucco relief. BandiyÄn. © Samra Azarnouche.

by Samra Azarnouche (École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, section of religious sciences – PSL, FRE 2018, Mondes iranien and indien).

We regret to announce the cancellation of the March 24 lecture, as a precautionary measure and due to the closure of the Maison d’Asie. Please excuse the inconvenience.

Located a few kilometers from the border of Turkmenistan in the heart of a green valley, the Sassanian site of BandiyÄn is exceptional in many respects: its ideal geographic and strategic location, its fire temple in good condition, its epigraphic material designating the site as a “dastgird” (seigniorial or royal estate), and, above all, its stucco decorations depicting scenes of hunting, battle, worship etc., of a quality rarely equaled in the rest of Iran Sassanid.

Dating the site – which had to be active until the seventh century – remains an object of uncertainty, just like the exact function of several of the rooms of Tepe A. This intervention proposes at first a synthesis of our knowledge on this site, since the excavations led by Mehdi Rahbar, then will be exposed new hypotheses concerning the choice of the location of the domain, the articulation of spaces on the basis of Central Asian archaeological data, and finally the interpretation of a scene of Zoroastrian cult depicting the preliminaries of solemn sacrifice.

In preparation for the meeting, a virtual tour of the museum installed around the remains of Tepe A is available here:
http://bandiandargaz.ir/BandianPanorama/bandian.html#pano10

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