Thursday, December 17, 2009

Khorheh Village

Khorheh (روستای خورهه) is a village 12 miles north of Mahallat and 31 miles northwest of Delijan in Markazi Province alongside the main road running between Tehran and Isfahan. Its historical buildings are believed to be of the Parthian period, the most popular of its archaeological relics originally thought to be a temple. This site was first excavated by the Qajar King Nasereddiin Shah on a treasure hunt. It also has an inscription on a rock that dates back to Seljuq Empire.  

Two columns of stone to the elevation of 6 meters remain from a vestige believed to be a temple. According to the studies and views of Hertsfold this was the temple of the 'God of War'. This structure overlooks the southern plain and the Khorheh River flows close to it. The ramparts and columns are the remnants of a large structure, most probably were constructed 23 centuries ago. The results of excavations performed in this historical vicinity reveal that the original southern structure consisted of columns, chambers and a courtyard whereas the northern structure, which is the main one, consists of chambers and corridors. The western structure comprises of a number of chambers and a hall. .  

In 2003 following excavation in this historical region it became clear that the edifice of the archeological site is the only non-religious edifice of the Parthian dynasty in Iran. The discovered relics as well as the copper coins with the picture of a Parthian King on one side and a bowman on the other side with an inscription in Greek, enforced the idea that the edifice is the lone non-religious edifice. According to the latest discoveries, it appears to be a mansion built in the first century B.C. and used as such until Parthian era. The architectural and cultural evidence discovered from the building, points out to the high social status of the owner of the complex who was possibly closely related to the ruling Imperial House of the Parthians. The inner walls of the complex were originally decorated with various colors, such as red, orange and brown. Much like current day Iranian homes, the exterior part of the mansion was used for formal visits and gatherings while family members used to live in the interior part of the building.  

In 2006 the two remaining columns of Parthian manor house in Khorheh were scheduled to be dismantled for restoration and then erected in their original places. Dr Mehdi Rahbar, the archaeologist in charge of restoration explained, “From the six columns of the Khorhé monument, only two are in existence, and the rest were destroyed. Because the columns are in a vulnerable state, we have to remove the stone-columns-bases and dismantle the columns, and after strengthening their foundations, we will return them back to their original places.”  

There is a mineral water spring and a pond adjacent to this historical vestige. Also to the south west of the Khorheh Village, near the river flowing in this vicinity and on a rock that weighs about a ton, a script has been engraved.  

One of the traditional ceremonies in Khorheh is the Oho Oho ceremony which is still performed annually and has strong similarities to Halloween or ghasogh zani. In this tradition teenagers in several groups sing a traditional song and visit neighbors' homes. The home owner will then give them money, cookies or nuts. 

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