Harireh – Ancient City

Harireh – Ancient City – Kish Island – Iran

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The ruins of the ancient city of Harireh measure around 120 hectares.  This vast area surface tells the tale that a large and prosperous city once existed in this region with a thriving population.  What remains of it today is a volume of urban architecture, but rarely will an arch, cover, or ceiling be seen intact, except for a few instances where arched stone ceilings have remained unharmed from the detriments of destruction. The Port of ancient Harireh was a concrete, well-knit city with an extrovert architecture.  Here, there are no signs of an introvert, self-defending architecture which can be seen in other historic cities in Iran.  Choosing this part of the island to build a city was a most natural and logical choice.  Its high cliffs are over ten metres above sea level, with three capes acting as natural harbours, and a shore relatively calmer than other coastlines along the island, all in all helping to shape the city in its northern coast.  To date, three separate archaeological digs have been carried out in the remains of the ancient city of Harireh.The aristocratic house: the aristocratic house is a reminder of old extended family homes inside the Iranian plateau and in cities such as Yazd, Isfahan, and Kashan.  It is considered a model of extended family dwellings alongside the Persian Gulf.  Apart from the expanse of the house and its varied spaces, star-shaped tiles have been found here which are similar to those ornating the important buildings of the Ilkhanate Iran, such as Takht-e Soleiman and Soltanieh.  This find, which is certainly importand to the island, indicates that the building belonged to one of the rich inhabitants of Kish.The industrial section: This section is built exactly next to the sea and has an unknown style of architecture and spaces.  The collection of lateral underground canals and numerous wells in the nooks and crannies form a unique and interesting complex, the function of which is still unknown.  But, it seems to be directly connected to fishing activities (fish, pearls, and corals) and was built for easier access to the sea.  It can also be presumed that these corridors were hidden passageways the inhabitants of the city could use in emergencies during times of attack and invasion. Public baths: This complex is comprised of a bath with numerous courtyards, and 500 square metres of fencing.  The changing room, hot chamber, and furnace are situated in the south of the said section and are separated with an indoor corridor.  Two small and large pools in the south of the hot chamber form the last section of the building.Archaeologists believe these baths, which may be the oldest of their kind in Iran discovered and recognised in archaeological digs, have two separated eras – Ilkhanate and Timurid.  Considering the limited capacity of the baths, and the outside wall stretching to the aristocratic house, which is situated in the southeast of the baths on top a tall hill, it seems these were private baths belonging to the owner of the house.

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