The Great Wall of Iran was just Discovered and Nobody Knows Who Built It

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In a fascinating study in the Antiquity, archaeologists unveiled their findings of a massive wall that extended through a large portion of Iran. The wall was about 13 feet high and 10 feet wide and extended more than 70 miles.

Known as the Gawri wall or Gawri Chen Wall, it was found in the Sar Pol-e Zahab region of western Iran, near the Iraqi border. The wall was composed mostly of boulders and gypsum mortar. There is some evidence of structures along the wall, such as turrets.

Satellite image showing different location of the wall and structures. Copyright Google Earth

Archaeologists believe that because of the sheer weight of the structure, there is probably no way it could be built before the 3rd century BC, known as the Parthian period, because there would not have existed sufficient labor and technology to do so. Indeed, the entire thing consists of about one million cubic meters of stone.

The pottery and other evidence fits with this timeline as well. Interestingly, the wall has long been known to locals but had no record in archaeological studies.

It is still unclear what the purpose of the wall was. It has historically been near a common dividing line between Iran and Mesopotamia. It could have been to mark the line between two kingdoms. It is not even clear which civilization could have built it.

Locals call it the Gawri Wall, which is a pre-Islamic term. The authors of the study propose that it could have been created by a local Parthian or Sasanian king. It will be interesting to see if anyone can find any reference to it in the written record.

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