Jabal-i Sang
Kerman, Iran
This tomb is located on the flat arid lands outside Kerman. It has a single octagonal chamber with a tall two-tiered drum that terraces to a hemispherical dome. The drum consists of a sixteen-sided lower part mounted by an octagonal ring. Although no trace of a second dome remains, the large inset between the two levels of the drum suggests that there may have been a second dome above the existing one.

Due to the absence of inscriptions on the building, an absolute dating has been impossible. While some believe that it had originally been a fire temple built by the Sasanians, others have dated it to the post-Seljuk period. However most historians including Eric Schroeder, agree on the Seljuk origin of this tomb, a hypothesis supported by the manner of construction of the squinches. Myths also surround the construction of this tomb, which said to be strengthened with a mortar that contains camel's milk and special soils. Built entirely in stone with some brick used in the dome and the upper drum, this tomb has withstood remarkably well the yearly floods and frequent earthquakes.

The tomb originally had two entrances, facing north and south, but only one entrance remains open. This monument is built entirely in stone except for the dome and the top section of the drum in which brick is used in conjunction with stone.

The exterior of the tomb is decorated simply with a series of shallow niches. Each side of the octagonal chamber contains a large central niche with a pointed arch, flanked by an arched and a rectangular niche on either side. Contained within each central niche are a shallow arched recess and an upper window set within its own arched frame. These niches animate the walls which measure two meters at their thickest. The walls of the lower drum are plain, with a window pierced into every other side. The upper drum is buttressed and braced along its upper edge.

The interior of the tomb is also octagonal and bears no decoration except for deep niches on each side that contain the windows. Squinches facilitate the transition from the octagonal lower drum to the sixteen-sided upper drum, and to the dome. The windows along the lower drum are carved into eight of these squinches on the interior. The walls are covered with plaster.


Hatim, Ghulam Ali. Mimari-i Islami-i Iran dar dawrah-i Saljuqian, 206-210. Tehran: Muassasah-i Intisharat-i Jihad-i Danishgahi, 2000.

Schroeder, Eric. "The Seljuq Period." In A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present, edited by Pope, Arthur Upham and Phyllis Ackerman (assistant editor), Vol. 3 Architecture, Its Ornament, City Plans, Gardens, 3rd ed., 1016-1020. Tehran: Soroush Press, 1977.
East of the city of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
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1186/581-582 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Gunbad-i Jaballieh
Gunbad Jaballieh
Building Usages