Volume 6, Issue 1 (spring-2018 2018)                   JRIA 2018, 6(1): 1-21 | Back to browse issues page

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Joudaki Azizi A, Ebrahimi A. Research on the Antiquity and Function of Konari Mahalle, an Unknown Structure in Arg-e Bam Complex. JRIA 2018; 6 (1) :1-21
URL: http://jria.iust.ac.ir/article-1-923-en.html
Abstract:   (5270 Views)
Arg-e Bam complex is considered as one of the most important ancient Iranian-Islamic cities. This complex is the historical axis of Bam city and is located in the east of Kerman province. Abundant research has been carried out on the urban structure of the Bam so far, and each of these studies has achieved significant results, but some parts of it have been rarely considered by researchers. One of these urban elements is a neighborhood called "Konari" or "Konari Mahalle", which has not comprehensively been studied in any research. What has been written about this neighborhood in some studies is not based on any exact research, for the same reason they have been constantly associated with speculation. Hence, some questions are raised on the function and antiquity of the neighborhood that have never been clearly answered. On the other hand, the 2003 earthquake, in spite of its devastating effects, made it possible to reveal some of the hidden layers of this neighborhood in particular and the historical complex of Arg-e Bam in general. Leading research has also studied the neighborhood through historical approaches and data collection by field and library studies. 
The results show that construction time of the neighborhood’s rampart on the northern and western fronts has been simultaneous with the first period of the formation of Arg-e Bam wall in the late Seleucid era and the first half of the Parthian period, i.e. the middle of the fourth century (BC) until the early part of the first century (BC) and contemporaneous with other parts of the rampart, other layers were added to it during the Sassanid period and the first century of the Islamic era, i.e. it is specifically considered as part of the  continuous Sharestan (city center) of the complex. Architectural evidence, archaeological findings, and historical evidence suggest that in the sixth century AH, Konari Mahalle was separated from the main body of Sharestan by creating a southern separating wall. This event occurred at the time of Sabesgh Ali command (563-580 AH), a veteran colonel and agent of Bahram Shah, the ninth Atabak of Kerman. The continuous use of this neighborhood, as the other parts of Sharestan, has led to the redevelopment of the spatial and architectural elements of the units inside it, in such a way that, like most parts of Sharestan, few units can be identified that date back beyond a few centuries ago. The network of passages in this neighborhood is clustered, so that its main body starts from the historic entrance and ends in the square of the northern half. Subsidiary passages that are branched out of it provide access to various parts of the neighborhood. The water source of Konari has been a large and famous Chiefdom residence (Hakem Neshin) well. Its water was supplied through a system whose starting point has been the main branch of the water duct of the ruler’s bath. The water supply system of the neighborhood, some of which is preserved as pottery water pipes, shows that it has been one of the few parts of Sharestan, which had been fed in this manner using the water of the Chiefdom residence well.
The historic entrance of the neighborhood and the architectural structures providing access to the neighborhood, indicate that the entry and exit to and from Konari have been continuously under security protection during its lifetime. On the other hand, the spatial composition of the architectural units is also distinctly different from other units of Sharestan’s architecture and lacks their structural complexity. By comparing these units with military forts and historical garrisons and taking into account the way they are located in the context of the neighborhood, a significant structural similarity is revealed. On the other hand, architectural and archaeological evidence show that what is now known as barracks inside the third rampart is an additional structure; and a traveler's report also shows that in 1225 AH, the whole of this collection was exclusively held by its ruler; According to this issue, along with the similarity of the architectural units of Konari Mahalle with the barracks and the special safeguards applied to the entrance and exit during its lifetime, it can be assumed that it may have been a place for garrisons/barracks of Arg-e Bam before the construction of a new barrack. Many troops who were possessed by Sabegh Ali, and their number has been sometimes recorded as three thousand horsemen and infantries, made it necessary  to have an organized barrack.
Architectural evidence suggests that there has been a certain link between the neighborhood and a building called state stable; this connection has been made through a mardgerd (aisle /hallway) whose beginning part is located beside the entrance of the mezzanine above the large architectural unit outside the neighborhood. Similarity of the materials used in this urban element with some of the materials used in the construction of the southern rampart of Konari, indicates the fact that the stables were built at the same time as the old barracks were built. This space was in fact a response to the need felt by Sabegh Ali’s cavalry at the place where their horses were kept. The noticeable proximity of the location of this space to Konari Mahalle and the easy access made possible by the establishment of a military leader had increased the security power of this military system. These conditions, along with the passive defense systems of Arg-e Bam complex, which had been provided through wide ramparts and deep ditches for centuries, enabled the establishment of a stable government in the late sixth century AH by Sabegh Ali. Konari Mahalle was used until the ending years of the sixth decade in the 13th century AH, i.e. from 1258 to 1260 AH; From this time onwards, this neighborhood like the entire Arg-e Bam complex, was eventually evacuated by the central and local government of Kerman forever, and replaced by a new barrack whose position was located within the third barrack or Chiefdom residence; however, the relationship between the government stables, that the construction of another building similar to it was impossible, continued to maintain its function and was connected to the latter barrack through a new mardgerd.
In a comprehensive look, the existence of this neighborhood and its vast and impervious wall, has been one of the smart ideas of passive defense considered by the designers and builders of Arg-e Bam complex, because by creating this neighborhood, the blind and vulnerable point of the city, which was close to the ruler's headquarters, was removed.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Subject- oriented researches in Islamic architecture and urbanism, eg. Spatial-geometrical ideas, symbols and ornaments
Received: 2018/07/7 | Accepted: 2018/07/7 | Published: 2018/07/7

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