Massive Ancient Wall Discovered in Iran Belongs to Unknown Ancient Civilization

The ancient wall stretches for more than 100 kilometers, was built using around 1 million cubic meters of stone, and it is visible on satellite images from space.

An interesting discovery has been made in Iran. Archaeologists have identified the remains of a massive ancient stone wall west of Iran, with a length similar to that of the famous Hadrian’s wall built by the Romans in England. At the moment, it is unknown what civilization built it, although experts say the wall is very ancient.

The remnants of the ancient wall were discovered by archeologists in Sarpol Zahab (Kermanshah, Iran) near the border with Iraq.

The massive wall measures approximately 115 kilometers (71 miles) in length and extends from north to south – from the mountains of Bamu to an area near the town of Zhaw Marg. The construction of the wall would have been a challenging project in ancient times, and experts estimate that more than 1 million cubic meters of stone were used in its construction. In comparison, the total volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza has been estimated at around 2,583,283 cubic meters, (91,227,778 cu ft).

“With an estimated volume of 1 million cubic meters of stone, its construction would have required abundant resources in terms of labor, materials and time,” writes Sajjad Alibaigi, a Ph.D. student in the archeology department of the University of Tehran, in an article published in the journal Antiquity.

“Several pieces of pottery found along this wall suggest that the wall could be traced back to a period between the fourth centuries BC and VI AD. archaeologists revealed.

Satellite images of the Gawri Wall. Image Credit: Google Earth.
Satellite images of the Gawri Wall

“Remains of structures, now destroyed, are visible along the wall and could have been associated with turrets or buildings.” In addition, the archeologists have revealed that the structure “was built with local materials such as pavers, boulders, and plaster mortar.”

“The route of the wall seems to have been determined by the topography of the area, and it frequently crosses mountain ridges, reaching significant heights.”

Although the existence of the wall was unknown to archaeologists, those who live nearby have known about the existence of the wall for a long time, coming to know it by the name “Gawri Wall or Gawri Chen Wall.”

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Due to the wall’s poor state of conservation, the researchers are not sure who built the structure and for what purpose. In fact, they are not even sure of its exact width and height – the best estimate is about 4 meters wide by 3 meters high.

Its exact purpose also remains shrouded in mystery.

The Gawri Wall in the western mountains of Sar Pol-e Zahab; arrows indicate the line of the wall. Image Credit: F. Fatahi.

“We also don’t know if it was a defensive or symbolic structure,” says Alibaigi, noting that perhaps it marked the border of an ancient empire, such as the Parthians (who flourished between 247 B.C. and A.D. 224) or the Sassanians (A.D. 224-651).

It is known that both these ancient empires built in western Iraq large castles, massive settlements, cities, and irrigation systems. Due to the extensive length of the wall and the number of resources required in its construction, it is very likely that either one of the ancient empires may have participated in its building process.

Based on the archeological record of the region, the construction of such a massive wall would only have been possible from the Parthian period (third century BC) onwards.

This mysterious ancient structure is not the only one discovered in Iran. Previous archeological surveys have revealed a number of similar ancient structures in the north, and northeastern parts of the country. However, these walls were much smaller in scale and were used as defensive structures.

Alibaigi has revealed in the recent study that based on regional settlement patterns, and the results of archaeological excavations, the construction of the massive wall was probably by order of either a Parthian or Sasanian King. The project was then implemented and overseen by a regional ruler or a member of the nobility in Qaleh Yazdgirdor.