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Ecbatana (the Ancient City of Hegmataneh)





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The historic Hegmataneh or Ecbatana is located within the boundaries of the modern city of Hamadan and covers an area of 30 hectares. Hegmataneh in historic classical sources had named as the capital of the first Iranian dynastic empire, the Medes (728-550 BCE). It later became one of the main seats of their successors, the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BCE), though Persepolis near Shiraz was considered the centre of the throne, Ecbatana was considered a strategic place. The city continued to keep its importance during the following dynasties, the Parthians (248 BCE-224 CE) and Sassanids (224-651 CE).


Hegmataneh Ensemble consists of a unique collection of historical ruins and valuable archeological site. A complex collection of congested urban constructions including towers (citadel of the old city) unique urban architecture like a chess board developed system of water pipelines and roads and the pavements as well as great number of houses rather than single deserted buildings. There exist remains belong to six different historical periods and a peculiar ensemble belongs to the Christians of Iran.


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Due to its historical and cultural great importance, it is well protected. These all signify that civilization was exceptional and of great glamour at this zenith. Hegmataneh the archeological masterpiece of the Parthians was considered as the greatest archeological achievements of the era. It peculiarly lies in its construction techniques. Constructing these buildings sun-dried bricks (measure: 45m*45m*13m and 33m*33m*13m) as well as baked ones (measure: 37m*37m*7m) were used. Utilizing a modern architectural plan, these bricks were made in workshops located in all northern, southern, western and eastern side of the city. Each quadrangular building measure (17.5m*17.5m*2m) and has got a porch and a hall in the middle and 3 rooms on the both sides. These building were constructed in two parallel rows in the back of each other. Between each two rows, paths of 3.5m of width were designed in northeastern and southwestern side of the building.


There is museum located in the east side of ancient Hegmataneh hill and next to the France’s famous hole. Thos museum has two parts: archeology and Islamic part. More than 350 historical objects are preserved in the Hegmataneh Museum. These objects consist of two parts: specific and provincial. Stony, earthen, bony and metal works which belong to the both before and after Islam ages are showing in this collection. Discovered objects of Hegmataneh are preserved in the corridor and right side hall of Hegmataneh Museum.


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Church of Saint Gregory Stepanos is one of the monuments of the ancient hill of 335 years in Hamadan Hegmataneh there. Armenians Church in 1676 AD, coincided with the reign of Safavid Shah Suleiman was built in the ancient area of Hamedan Hegmataneh.


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