Date: M ay 14
Source: ISNA & CHN
Great Wall of Gorgan is one of the walls near the shore of Caspian Sea mentioned as the second great wall of the wall. What increases its importance these days is the plan to allow the railway to cross it. But what is the real importance and significance of Gorgan’s wall?
First of all three wall belonging to Sassanid dynasty has so far been identified around the Caspian. The wall of Gorgan and Tamishe are in Golestan Province and the wall of Darband or Caucasia is situated in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The wall of Gorgan is 200Km in length in east to west direction. It begins from the Caspian and ends at Golestan National Park. The wall of Tamishe 15 Km in length extends in south-north direction from southern skirts of Alborz mountain to Gorgan Gulf.
According to the archaeologist Hamid Omrani, the great wall of Gorgan is the second longest wall of Asia, but after the Chinese wall with 6000km in length and Lynn Wall with around 500km in length is the third in the world. Some believe that this wall belongs to Median, Achaemenids or Parthian, but the archaeological studies show that this wall was built during Sassanid era, sometimes around 429 to 615 AD. It is the oldest wall of the world build around the same time as the wall of Tamishe and Anthony in Greece.
The wall of Gorgan is thought to be 1700 years old because of way it is built. While in the great wall of China, stone, wood and brick is used, but that of Gorgan is all built of bricks which points to the powerful engineering used in its construction. Another feature of this wall is that according to historical sources it should be 6-10m in height. There is no doubt in the first figure, but for heights between 8-10m, more archaeological explorations are needed. It also seems that the height of 6m should have been the height of the whole length as Sassanid used to build powerful barriers to prevent enemies to break into the country.
There is a trench 200m in length and 30m in width in front of the wall which was also used to hinder enemies’ penetration. In fact, during the war, the water of the river of Gorgan situated just behind the wall was directed into this trench for the same purpose. In addition, a damn called Kargaz was built over the wall to supply the water needed for the trench.
The kheshts (adobes) used were 10x40x40 made of the earth dug out of the trench and mixed with straw were then cooked in kilns. About 150 kilns have been found around the wall.
According to Omrani one of the distinguishing features of the wall of Gorganis that there were 36 citadels behind the wall with areas from 5 to 20 hectares all with a defensive function. In addition, there were also a series of bastions about 3km away from the wall of Gorgan which were used for back up sources. 25 of these bastions have so far been identified. One of the interesting points about these bastions is that they all had a trench as well as a fence, tower, and rampart. The largest bastion of this series covers an area of about 300 hectares. Parts of the eastern side of the wall are now buried in sediments of the Caspian and some believe that it could have been connected to the wall of Tamishe.