Kangelu Fortress waterproofed for Anahita rituals


September 6, 2007

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Heritage | History | Iran

Archaeologists surmise Kangelu Fortress waterproofed for Anahita rituals

A team of Iranian archaeologists working on the Kangelu Fortress in northern Iran’s Mazandaran Province have put forward the idea that the Sassanid fortress was built to be waterproof as a suitable site for holding rituals in honor of Anahita, the Zoroastrian goddess of fertility, water and rivers.

Analysis indicates that an oily material has been added to the mortar to waterproof the structure of the building.

The fortress and the terrace-shaped structures situated at both sides have been built with a mortar of gypsum, lime and stone. However it has been observed that gaps in the fortress and the bottom of the adjoining terraces have also been covered with an oily mortar, team director Saman Surtiji told the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.

“With reservation, it can be said that the monument was a type of reservoir for storing water and may have been a temple dedicated to Anahita, goddess of water,” he noted.

“To prove the theory, we need stronger evidence and further excavations and studies should be carried out, particularly on the fortress’s first floor,” Surtiji emphasized.

Existence of oil in the mortar was proved via spectrophotometric and centrifugal analysis.

Covering an area of 50 square meters, the Kangelu Fortress was originally constructed in three stories but the third floor has disintegrated over the years.