The Fire Temple (Atishgah or Atashgah) at Isfahan is the local name for an archaeological complex situated on a rocky mound that rises 86 meters above the surrounding Marbin (or Marabin) Plain outside of Isfahan, Iran. The mound on which the complex sits is located just north of the road running west from Isfahan to Najafabad, approximately eight miles from the city center. It affords views over the surrounding gardens along the Zayandeh River fed by ancient man-made canals, and over the city of Isfahan itself. The complex is mentioned in medieval Arabic and Persian sources, which offer different theories regarding its date and function.
Archaeological research makes clear that the so-called "Fire Temple" is in fact a complex consisting of a number of structures that are thought to date to various historical periods. The northern slope of the mound contains the ruins of three overlapping terraces. Carbon-14 dating of the reeds used in the mortar between rows of bricks in the terrace retaining walls suggests a date of the Elamite Period (1400 BCE). The foundations of other structures were found on the mound. The functions of these buildings - residential, defensive or ceremonial - is a matter of debate. At the summit of the hill stand the remains of a domed octagonal structure with one aperture (most likely doorways) on each of the eight faces. According to Maxime Siroux who published a detailed survey of the site in 1965, this structure may have served as a signal tower and may date to the Islamic period. This octagonal structure has been partly reconstructed in modern times.
Klaus Schippmann, Die iranischen Feuerheiligtümer (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1971), 460-465.
Yaghesh Kazemi, Sayed Yaser Mousavi and Shima Majdi, "Cultural and Historical Landscape of Ātašgāh-i Isfahān." Buletin Teknologi Tanaman 12:2 (2015): 355-360.
- September 26, 2018 (AKDC Staff): edited data (updated alternate names; changed preferred name to "Atashgah (Isfahan)").