FARYŪMAD (modern FARŪMAD), MONUMENTS of. No thorough archeological investigation has been conducted in the Faryūmad area. Erich F. Schmidt’s aerial survey, carried out on 12 May 1937, however, revealed a “town ruin near Farumad” (Schmidt, pls. 61 f.; Schneider, p. 47, microfiche card 12: view A11 and 12; Kleiss, fig. 29 [drawing without scale; perhaps based on Schmidt’s pl. 62]). A preliminary survey by the present author undertaken in March 1998 in the eastern Qūmes and Joveyn regions (unpublished) shows that the town in question forms in fact the southern edge of the present small town of Farūmad. The ruins include a strong rectangular fortification measuring about 330 m (north-south) by 250 m (east-west). Provided with thick walls, ditches and towers, its northwest corner is strengthened by a citadel (ca. 90 x 80 m). Schmidt’s aerial photograph reveals that the space of approximately 350 m between the western side of the fortification and the eastern edge of the inhabited area in 1937 was delimited by fallen walls and covered with leveled ruins crossed by streets. This portion of land is now commonly called by the derisory nickname of Moftābād (Gratis-abode), because it was occupied and built over after the Revolution of 1978-79 by people without paying for the land. The archeological vestiges have disappeared, at least on the surface. Judging by the shards gathered in the fortifications, these remains should be attributed to the Mongol period. As they are still called Šahrestān by the local people, the fortifications must be identified with the Šahrestān built by ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn Moḥammad Faryūmadī (Dawlatšāh, p. 206), appointed in 728/1327-28 as vizier by Abū Saʿīd the Il-khanid (Masson, p. 94) and executed in 742/1342 by the Sarbadārs (Eqbāl, p. 130). The Šahrestān must not be confused with the western part of Faryūmad which was also enclosed within walls built under Moḥammad Shah Qājār (Gazetteer of Iran II, p. 172) for protection against Turkman raids (čapow, alman).
Two standing remains have been noted in western Faryūmad: Ebn Yamīn’s mausoleum and the well-known Jāmeʿ mosque. Both buildings fall slightly off E. F. Schmidt’s aerial view (pl. 62). They are situated immediately west of the buildings visible at the top left margin of his picture. Dawlatšāh Samarqandī notes (p. 207) that Ebn Yamīn (q.v.) was buried (in 769/1368; Faṣīḥ, III, p. 101) next to his father in his ṣawmaʿa. An old picture published by ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Mawlawī (p. 490) shows that the mausoleum was built with sun-dried bricks on a square plane. Its northern wall had collapsed together with the cupola that once must have covered the construction. The tomb itself had also vanished. These vestiges were razed by the Anjoman-e āṯār-e mellī (q.v.) and replaced by a new monument in 1974-75. As for the mosque in Faryūmad, it is a fine, small square (ca. 35 x 35 m), two-ayvān construction (plan in Godard, p. 85, fig. 65). Having fallen into ruin, it was consolidated in 1973-75 and its extensive, continuing restoration commenced in 1984. Remains of what is tentatively attributed by the restorers to the Saljuq period have been discovered under its present level. A hall similar to the one already visible on the eastern section of Godard’s plan has also been uncovered on the opposite (west) side of the mosque. Nearly the whole construction is finely decorated either with elaborate strapwork patterns with occasional turquoise or dark blue faience insets, or with plaster ornamentation in high relief or incised patterns. The meḥrāb in the main ayvān (11.25 x 6.62 m) is signed ʿAlī b. Abu’l-Ḥasan b. Maḥmūd [Esḥāq?] Šahrestānī (Mawlawī, pp. 490, 513; Wilber’s reading, p. 156, is wrong). The mosque and its fine ornament are not dated, but as they appear now they are closely related to the decoration in the Il-khanid wing (706/1306-7) of the Jāmeʿ mosque at Besṭām (q.v.), to the adornment covering the Ayvān o Dālān-e Oljāytū (713/1313) in Bāyazīd’s architectural complex in the same town, and to the remains of the Ḵosrow-šīr mosque just discovered 40 km northeast of Faryūmad (unpublished). The name of the builder of the present mosque in Faryūmad is unknown, but it, too, may have been commissioned by the vizier ʿAlā-al-Dīn Moḥammad.
Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):
Dawlatšāh Samarqandī, Taẕkerat al-šoʿarāʾ, ed. M. Ramażānī, Tehran, 1959.
ʿA. Eqbāl, “Ketāb al-ḥekmątaʾlīf-e Moḥammad . . . al-Faryūmadī,” Yādegār 5/8-9, 1949, pp. 124-31.
Faṣīḥ Aḥmad Ḵvāfī, Mojmal-e Faṣīḥī, ed. M. Farroḵ, 3 vols., Mašhad, 1960-63.
A. Godard, “Ḵorāsān,” Athār-é Īrān 4/1, 1949, pp. 7-150, especially pp. 83-112 and figs. 64-95.
W. Kleiss, “Befestigungen in den Provinzen Semnan und Khorasan,” AMI 28, 1995-96, pp. 369-92.
J. Masson Smith, Jr., The History of the Sarbedār Dynasty, 1336-1381 A. D., and Its Sources, The Hague and Paris, 1970.
A.-Ḥ. Mawlawī, Āṯār-e Bāstānī-e Ḵorāsān, Mašhad, 1975, pp. 489-515.
E. F. Schmidt, Flights Over Ancient Cities of Iran, Chicago, 1940.
U. Schneider, Persepolis and Ancient Iran, Chicago and London, 1976.
D. N. Wilber, The Architecture of Islamic Iran: The Il-Khānid Period, Princeton, 1955, pp. 156 f.
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 24, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. IX, Fas.c 4, pp. 384-385