The ancient Arjan Mosque has been unearthed inside the ancient city of Arjan. It’s a 500-hectare city ruin located at north-east of Behbahan, Khuzestan Province. Archaeologists considered it a Sassanian site until the media announced a very important discovery in Iran in 1982: “An ancient Elamite Tomb was discovered!”
There were a bronze coffin and several gold pieces including a ring of power. So, it proved to be older, 2nd millennium BC. Later studies in 2009 and 2010 indicated that this site had been in use by people even before that during 8th millennium BC. More field excavation is required to determine the details of these discoveries.
Of course, life continued at this site further until the Sassanian era and even further until post-Islam Iran. That’s why this early post-Islamic era mosque had been built at this ancient city.
Mr. Yaghmaei Talks about Arjan Mosque
In an interview with Miras-e Arya News Agency, Mr. Ehsan Yaghmaei, head of the excavation team, explained how they had decided to lead the archeological excavation at that specific point:
“We had noticed the possible location of the mosque using aerial photos and satellite images. History documents approve the presence of a mosque here too.”
He further added,
“We initiated the excavations to make sure that our archeological data and history documents cope!”
According to his remarks, a north-south square space was discovered in the middle of the mosque of Arjan, which is the courtyard. Inside this section, another square space has been found about the function of which we know nothing yet. A portico containing several column bases had been unearthed on the western side of the courtyard. On the opposite side, the columns seem to have been part of a shabestan (roofed prayer hall), but plundered and only some hollow pits are noticed. So, there must have been another portico at the eastern side as well.
The Architecture of Arjan Mosque
Mr. Yaghmaei explained more about the style of construction at this mosque that makes the date of the building more clear:
“The number of columns and the style of using them to build a roofed hall indicated the mosque dates back to the first centuries after Islam. And because of the types of potteries unearthed there, we would speculate the mosque is as old as 8th or 9th centuries.”
In addition, two graves have been found at this mosque. They must belong to some unknown religious leaders.
It must be mentioned that excavations aren’t’ over yet. More efforts are required to discover more and learn more about the history of this site and the architecture in the mosque of Arjan.