Arsalan-i Jazib Gunbad-i
Sang Bast, Iran
The burial site of Arslan Jadhib, an official of the Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud, was originally incorporated into a larger complex along with the nearby freestanding minaret.

The exterior is unusually asymmetrical. A transition zone between the square mass of the main volume and the dome, set back from the face of the lower section, approximates an octagon with chamfers on the north and west sides. Schroeder argues that a gallery, no longer existing, explains this curious massing. The dome was constructed with a thicker course of bricks at the base, an early manifestation of the knowledge that a dome is strengthened by tapering or decreased thickness toward the crown.

The exterior shows no trace of ornamentation. On the interior a tall dado, now undecorated, terminates with a painted kufic frieze. Above this, the walls are surfaced with plaster, etched and painted with chevrons that Pope suggests take the moiré silk of Baghdad as precedent. The interior zone of transition is an octagon, each side articulated with a pointed segmental arch, uncommon in Iran. The arches alternate as openings and panels filled with geometric brickwork. The interior of the dome displays brickwork laid in a vibrant herringbone pattern; this may have originally been covered by an ornamental surface.

A wall fragment attached to the southeast side of the minaret indicates that it was not always freestanding; it may have been part of a monumental portal. A spiral staircase inside the trunk led to the balcony at top, of which only the muqarnas supports have remained. The trunk of the minaret is surfaced with the simple geometry of brick in plain bond, terminating in an inscriptive band.

Sources:

Hutt, Anthony and Leonard Harrow. Iran. Islamic Architecture. London: Scorpion Publishers, 1978.

Schroeder, Eric. 1977. ""The Seljuk 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., 986-988. Tehran: Soroush Press, 1977.

Pope, Arthur Upham. "Architectural Ornament." 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., 1275-1277. Tehran: Soroush Press, 1977.
Location
Sang Bast, Iran
Images & Videos
Associated Collections
Events
997-1028/386-418 AH
Style Periods
Ghaznavid
977-1186
Variant Names
Arsalan-i Jazib Gunbad-i
Arslan Jadhib Mausoleum and Minaret
Variant
Arsalan-i Jazib Gunbad
Variant
Arslan Jadhib Gunbad
Variant
Amiraslan Jazeb Gunbad
Variant
Building Usages
mausoleum
funerary
minaret
religious