BĀZA-ḴŪR (Baz-e Hur), a village and site of some important Sasanian structures on the road from Mašhad to Torbat-e Ḥaydarīya, near Rebāṭ-e Safīd, 35°48’ north latitude, 59°22’ east longitude (Gazetteer of Iran II, pp. 72, 572, Map II-23-A). Southeast of the village, at the entrance of a gorge, are the ruins of a domed building and a mountain fortification, variously called Qaḷʿa-ye Doḵtar, Qaḷʿa-ye Pesar, Āšpazḵāna, and Daraḵšḵāna, which are regarded as a Parthian or Sasanian temple and fort. First reported by H. W. Bellew and E. Diez, they became an integral part of the theories on the Sasanian fire temple, since E. Herzfeld, followed by K. Erdmann, interpreted the arrangement as an obligatory temple in the plain and an accompanying “high place” on the mountain. (For doubts on this interpretation in general see Huff, pp. 202f.) As early as 1946, D. N. Wilber noticed, however, that the structures on the mountain belong to a castle, and this was corroborated by the subsequent research of U. Hallier.
The domed structure is of the so-called čahār-ṭāq type, a dome on four arches with surrounding corridors. Only two corridors are recognizable; other parts of the building are in ruins. The primitive construction, especially the absence of squinches as transition from the square to the dome, which rests on beams placed diagonally across the corners of the square, led some scholars to the assumption of an early, even Parthian date; however, Herzfeld (1942, p. 33) and Erdmann (1948, p. 441) had previously pointed out that this might be a degeneration, rather than a predecessor, of the normal type. A pre-Sasanian date is unlikely. Though the fragments of decorative stucco at the fortress suggest a Parthian date (Hallier, pp. 155ff.), more comprehensive evidence is necessary for a definite conclusion. A two-story tower and a ruin called Rebāṭ-e kohna are reported south of the fortress (Hallier, pp. 150ff.).
H. G. Bellew, From the Indus to the Tigris, London, 1874, pp. 353f.
E. Diez, Islamische Baukunst in Churasan, Hagen, 1923, p. 39.
K. Erdmann, Das iranische Feuerheiligtum, Leipzig, 1941, pp. 58f.
Idem, Deutsche Literaturzeitung 69, 1948, p. 441.
A. Godard, “Les monuments du feu,” Athar-é Iran 3, 1938, pp. 53ff.
U. Hallier, “Ribat-i Sefid (Khorasan),” AMI, N.S. 8, 1975, pp. 141ff.
E. Herzfeld, “Reisebericht,” ZDMG 80, 1926, pp. 275f.
Idem, Archaeological History of Iran, London, 1935, p. 89.
Idem, Iran in the Ancient Near East, Oxford, 1941, p. 305.
Idem, “Damascus: Studies in Architecture,” Ars Islamica 9, 1942, pp. 32f.
D. Huff, “Das Imamzadeh Sayyid Husain und Herzfelds Theorie über den sasanidischen Feuertempel,” Stud. Ir. 11, 1982, pp. 197-212.
W. Kleiss, “Kuppel- und Rundbauten aus sasanidischer und islamischer Zeit,” AMI 11, 1978, pp. 151ff.
O. Reuther, “Sasanian Architecture,” in Survey of Persian Art I, p. 552.
K. Schippmann, Die iranischen Feuerheiligtümer, Berlin, 1971, pp. 13ff.
D. N. Wilber, “The Ruins at Rabat-i-Safid,” Bulletin of the Iranian Institute 6-7, 1946, pp. 22f.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
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Vol. IV, Fasc. 1, p. 20