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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2019, 3(7): 77-94 Back to browse issues page
Geographical and Cultural Effects on Forming Ismaeili Castles Case report; Kouh Zardan Castle-Zirkouh City
Ali Asqar Mahmoodi Nasab 1, Reza Mehrafarin2, Mohammad Farghami3
1- Ph.D. Student of Archeology, Department of Archaeology, Mazandaran University, Mazandaran, Iran. , aliasqarmahmoodi@yahoo.com
2- Associate Professor, Department of Archeology, Mazandaran University, Mazandaran, Iran.
3- Ph.D. Student of Archeology, Department of Archeology, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (5796 Views)
To balance the needs and actual or potential facilities, mankind has tried along with time. Water, ground, soil, road is from environmental factors forming a living place while one or more factors may play more important role depending on some situations. The culture is created due to people interactions and is progressing longitudinally and affects human activities. Ignoring the environment makes the debate impossible on cultural and behavioral conditions. Culture creates sites and phenomena around the spaces and places. Architecture is one of the main sites of culture in environment. Natural characteristics in the region of Ghahestan made the Ismailia – in the Islamic middle centuries - to establish defensive buildings due to cultural and religious conditions. The results made them to be in accordance with the political and natural conditions of the time. In spite of some environmental limitations, they provided their need in the environment and caused some sort of cultural and environmental accordance in the region. This study introduces the Kouh Zardan castle of Zirkouh city in South Khorasan. This castle has spent two different residence eras. The castle was used as a defensive place at the first era may be known as Saljooghi. Ilkhani’s were the second residents.The main question of the research is, what role has the natural geography of the area played in the castle of Castle Zardan Mountain architecture? The castle of Zardan Mountain has been built with regard to the environmental conditions of the area and the impact of the environment in the castle architecture space is not only in the use of native materials, but other factors such as climate, altitude, distance and proximity to water resources, geological structure and ... has played a key role in the formation of the castle. This paper is descriptive and analytical and its data has been through library resources and field surveys.
Keywords: Kouhzardan Castle, Architecture, Environment, Culture, Vegetation, Water resources.

The breadth of the land of Iran, along with the diversity of its posterity, has created a situation in which the inhabitant should think in a special area of thought with creativity and sharpness in order to maintain, maintain and maintain their place of residence (Pazoki Tohruidi , 1376: 101). Environmental conditions, especially the climate, soil type, water resources, etc., can play a crucial role in the formation of a civilization (Wylie, 2007: 11). Among other factors that make use of these conditions in the environment, culture is. Culture is the result of an interpretation that humans themselves and their relationships with each other and nature (Abedi Sarvestani and Shah Vali, 1391: 2). If one looks at one of the applications of culture, then architecture as an outlook for human beings is one of the important aspects of culture that is studied in the geographic area as a perspective (Fayaz et al., 2011: 92). In many parts of Iran, there are works of old castles that have been constructed with the administrative and political conditions of their period and connect with their surroundings and create a solid structure. Quhistan is one of the places that has caused a favorable environment for the construction of the Ismaili dome in the Middle Ages due to its mountainousness due to the desert of central and loot, the plain called Afghanistan and the political and religious conditions. Castle Mountain Zadran One example of this type of castles, in South Khorasan province is located in the city Zirkouh the height of the mountain fortress Zadran on it and mastery of the environment, a perfect opportunity to the mountain’s topography around The fort is composed of mountainous and plain. In this article, the geographic conditions of the area and its impact on the architecture of Castle Zardan Mountain are discussed.

Castle Zardan Mountain
Castle Zardan Mountain is located in South Khorasan province, Zirkouh city and Zardan village, and is based on the point (UTM) at latitude and longitude 747004/3707960 with an average elevation of 1,770 meters above sea level. Castle Zardan Mountain is located above a single mountain (between 50 to 90 degrees) and overlooks the surrounding plains. The length of the castle is 100 meters and its width is 80 meters with an area of 8000 square meters and a height of 92 meters from the surrounding environment. The castle is based on a nearly square shape (Nasrabadi, 1391: 111). The architectural features of the castle include the remains of several towers, parts of the fence, the walls of the castle’s interior spaces, water cabinets, and several chamber-covered rooms. Citadel of the castle is located in the highest castle space. Some of the architectural spaces of the fortress are crafted in the rock form, so that rocks from the bed of this space can be used as building materials for the walls. In view of the architectural space of the castle building, it is seen that most of the residential spaces of the castle are opposite to the cold weather of the winter, so as to see some kind of compatibility with the winds of the area in this castle. For the construction of Ismaili castles, in addition to choosing it geographically, in the harsh areas, the villages near the fortress were chosen according to the Shiite religion, especially the Shiite Ismaili, as well as the environmental facilities including the water they had. Castle Zardan Mountain is located in a relatively blue area and today it is rich in agriculture. In the choice of castle, the environment was also considered vegetation, so that if materials such as bricks and pottery or melting metals were used for molding weapons, it was possible to make furnace with regard to vegetation.

Climatic factors have created buildings and spaces that are consistent with the environment, which is in fact the outlook for warm and dry regions, which expresses the complex relationships of man with its rough environment, so that architecture is the most obvious type of landscape (peasant, 1382: 68-67). Among these architectural views, it is possible to construct an Ismaili dome in most parts of Iran, especially in Qehistan. Castle Zardan Mountain is one of the Ismaili castles in Ghahistan, which is built according to the environmental conditions of the area and is related to some kind of architectural complexes of the castle with surrounding environment. Environmental factors were also very influential in the construction of the Castle Zardan Mountain due to cultural and historical factors, while how to form the fortress in order to adapt to natural conditions is more than anything else related to its surroundings. The influence of the environment in the castle architecture was not limited to the use of indigenous materials, but other factors such as climate, elevation, distance and proximity to water resources, geological structure, etc., also played a key role in the formation of the castle. In general, the most important factor is the formation of a water culture, access to water, and whether these water structures can be seen inside or outside the castle. But from other points of view, the castle landscape architecture is surrounded by the surrounding environment around the castle. The communication route is also seen in the perspective of the castle of Mount Zardan and other Isma’ili castles close by. The Castle Zardan Mountain is located on a single high mountain point with a steep pitch towards the surrounding area, for the sake of ease with the surrounding area and connecting with other Ismaili castles in the landscape.
Keywords: Kouhzardan Castle, Architecture, Environment, Culture, Vegetation, Water resources
Full-Text [PDF 2213 kb]   (784 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2019/07/23 | Accepted: 2019/07/23 | Published: 2019/07/23
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Mahmoodi Nasab A A, Mehrafarin R, Farghami M. Geographical and Cultural Effects on Forming Ismaeili Castles Case report; Kouh Zardan Castle-Zirkouh City. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2019; 3 (7) :77-94
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فصلنامه مطالعات باستان شناسی پارسه Parseh Journal of Archaeological Studies
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