IRAN NEWS (Tourism & Culture):
Samen underground city open its doors to the public

Samen underground city open its doors to the public

August 16, 2022 | 18:04:29 (Hamedan Tourism News)
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The underground city of Samen in Hamedan province will open its doors to the public in the near future. It has been demanded by the public and the media that the underground city becomes accessible to sightseer, the deputy provincial tourism chief has said.

Since last year, the tourism ministry has allocated funds for the restoration of this complex, as well as completion of the base building and lighting. Over 25 billion rials ($84,000) have so far been spent on research, exploration, restoration, organizing, lighting, and equipping the underground city of Samen, the official added.

The ancient troglodytic settlement dates back to the Parthian era (247 BC – 224 CE) based on archaeological evidence.

Samen subterranean settlement has 25 rock-carved rooms, interlinked tunnels, and corridors. The subterranean complex appears to have been first used for religious purposes, then as a cemetery, and finally as a shelter during emergencies. The underground complex, located 400 km west of Tehran, is believed to be built sometime between the fall of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC) and the early Parthian era (247 BC-224 CE).

Excavations at the site began in 2005 and are still going on. So far tens of well-preserved skeletons have been retrieved from its interconnected chambers.

Iran is a haven for ancient troglodytic architecture which is somewhat forgotten though they are filled with life and creativity. The northwest Kandovan village is one of the most famous examples of troglodytic architecture in the country; its ice-cream cone-shaped homes resemble that of Turkey’s Cappadocia.

In October 2018, the country hosted the 3rd International Troglodytic Architecture Conference in which tens of experts, researchers, and academia discussed troglodyte-associated architecture, culture, and technology.

Known in classical times as Ecbatana, Hamedan was one of the ancient world’s greatest cities. Pitifully little remains from antiquity, but significant parts of the city center are given over to excavations. Ecbatana was the capital of Media and subsequently a summer residence of the Achaemenian kings who ruled Persia from 553 to 330 BC.
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