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Iran Tours

Rocky Village of Meymand in Kerman

Not many people have had the chance to travel to an ancient city whose structures are not of adobe and mud, brick and mortar, or even wattle and daub, but are built deep within the rocks by carving mountains! Such an experience is realized by traveling to Kerman province in Iran, passing through a narrow road, and reaching the Rocky Village of Meymand in Kerman. The village, located between Sirjan, Shahr-e Babak, Rafsanjan, and Anar, is a rocky village which according to the experts and archaeologists, is around 8-12 thousand years old.


When you take your first steps through the rocks, you are surprised by seeing some holes in the mountains. The houses of Meymand are carved in the heart of the mountain, and are reminisces of a time when the Iranians followed Mithraism, and considered mountains as the symbols of solidity, strength, endurance, and determination. Other experts suggest another theory according to which the Rocky Village of Meymand in Kerman was built by a group of Aryan tribes in the 8th and 7th centuries BC at the same time as the Medians made several architectural works in the rocks in the western Iran.


In July 4, 2015, the case of Meymand, Shahr-e Babak Cultural Landscape was examined in the 39th UNESCO Cultural Heritage Summit, and was registered as the 19th UNESCO World Heritage Site in Iran by gaining majority of votes. UNESCO mentions the cultural landscape of Meymand, Shahr-e Babak as follows: at the end of a valley in the central Iranian mountains, there is a historical area called “Meymand, Shahr-e Babak”, where people have long kept their traditional lifestyle. During the cold seasons, the nomads, who make a living through agriculture and livestock farming, travel between their summer and winter settlements in different seasons of the year, settle at the bottom of the valley in the rocky houses built in the heart of the mountain.


Though the houses in Meymand have closets and beds like other Iranian houses, they differ in that instead of adding niches and closets, the people of Meymand carve the house in the heart of the mountain, and, in fact, give the mountain their desired shape. But most of the houses in Meymand follow a general plan, and the whole house, called a “kicheh” may include a corridor, one or more rooms, and a stable. These rooms, which are geometrically irregular, have different sizes. A 3x4m room with a ceiling 190-240 cm high is the norm, and the largest kicheh does not exceed 90 square meters.


It is interesting that the door and the walls of the houses in Meymand are black, because in the past, they used to make fires inside the rooms, and the burning logs made the ceilings and the walls black.


The city also has a script that reads “when the mountains of Meymand crack open, and the legends of Meymand come true, the treasure of Meymand will emerge and only one person would be able to obtain it, the one coming from the Sun”.


By a short walk through the Rocky Village of Meymand in Kerman, you will find that in addition to the stone houses and kicheh, there are also other sites in Meymand, which include the old school, the old bathhouses, the fire temple, the mosque, and the Hussainiya. You can also visit the anthropology museum of Meymand to see the furniture, handicrafts, pictures, and plans that show the living condition of the people in the village.


Though Meymand is thousands of years old, there is still some life going on in it. The young people of the village have left for the nearby cities in order to have better incomes, but there are some old inhabitants of the village staying there, and making their living by making Eshkeneh, curd, Dampokhtak (slow oven cooking), and baking local bread, and selling them to the visitors.


In addition to these activities, we see villagers selling pharmaceutical plants such as corn buttercups, Astragalus, and thymes, as well as products such as almonds, Kermani black Kashk (a dairy product), etc. They would also gladly show their rocky houses to visitors, and along the way, sell them CDs introducing Meymand.



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8/5/2017 7:54:06 PM

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