TEHRAN – Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts has established a series of criteria to step up efforts to safeguard Gorgan, which is most famous for a defensive wall dating back nearly 1,500 years.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Tourism submitted a letter to Governor General of Golestan Province Ali-Mohammad Zanganeh, in which he declared a series of criteria to safeguard, protect and restore the historic core of Gorgan, CHTN reported.
Gorgan, formerly Astarabad, is located along a small tributary of the Qareh River, 37 kilometers from the Caspian Sea.
The ancient city suffered for a long time from the incursions of the Turkmen tribes who occupied the plain north of the Qareh River and were subjected to incessant Qajar-Turkmen tribal conflicts in the 19th century according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Its crumbling defensive barrier called “the Great Wall of Gorgan” stretches for nearly 200 kilometers. It was built from 420 to 530 CE as the northern frontier of the then powerful Persian Empire, which was then ruled by the Sassanids.
The massive barrier faced a series of wars first against the Hephthalites or White Huns and later against the Turks. Most parts of the gigantic monument are still hidden below the surface, some segments have so far been unearthed and even restored to their former glory.
Gorgan’s Great Wall is more than three times the length of the longest late Roman defensive wall built from scratch, the Anastasian Wall west of Constantinople. The combined area of the forts at Gorgan’s Wall exceeds that of those at Hadrian’s Wall about three times.