Mele Hairam

Mele Hairam

They have discovered that the mound covered the remains of a Zoroastrian temple of fire. The temple dates from the Sasanian period, which ran from the 3rd to the 7th centuries. The main entrance lay on the eastern side of the complex. A large table, whose longer faces were covered by stucco decoration, almost serves to block the door on the west side of the first room, suggesting to researchers that ordinary worshipers were not allowed beyond this point. A square room to the west, presumably therefore reserved for members of the priesthood, has the base of a fire altar at its center, now protectively covered with a mound of earth. Small platforms, coated with plaster, were found in three of the corners of this room, and have also been protectively covered with earth. There is a large arched niche in the south wall of the altar room. The Polish team has speculated that the function of a small room to the north of the altar room may have been to store the embers of the sacred fire. To the west of the altar room, another room with an area of paved flooring also contains evidence of a hearth, and this room too was probably devoted to religious rituals. Mele Hairam serves to demonstrate what fascinating secrets may lie beneath the hundreds of unexcavated mounds scattered across this part of Turkmenistan.

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Dashoguz – Kone Urgench – Darvaza - Ashgabat – Mary – Turkmenabad – Farap.

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