Function Analysis of Man-made Caves Near Vartoun Hot Spring in Isfahan Province

Document Type : Research Article




Vartoun village is located 35 km North East of Isfahan County and is an administrative unit of Sagzi County. Karkas mountain range with a height of over 3000 meters covers North and West of Sagzi County as well as Vartoun village and a relatively flat plain covers other areas of this country. Villages and springs emerged in the margin of these mountains, which are considered the origin of contemporary nomadic people in these areas. During visits to villages and springs in this region, man-made caves were discovered in the margin of Vartoun hot spring. As far as we know, the man-made architecture has been developed in different periods and situations with various functions such as residence, refuge, warehouse and animal shelter. In this study, we first attempt to introduce spatial archaeology, architecture plan analysis, Annales school historiography approach and the collection of man-made caves of Vartoun hot spring in its historical-cultural context and analyze its application and creation time. Spatial and building material analysis as well as survey results of man-made caves in the historic-cultural context of Vartoun hot spring, given the therapeutic importance of hot spring and its long distance from nearby cities and villages, indicates a temporary residential use of man-made spaces before the Seljuks.


• Ahmadi, A. A. (2009). Space and Society in Satellite Townships of Isfahan in the Safavid Period: The Case Study of the Moorchekhort and Ghurtan. Doctoral dissertation. Tehran: The University of Tehran, Faculty of Literature and Humanities (not published).
• Ahmadi, A. A. (2012). Study of the history of architecture and stylistics of holy shrines in Borkhar. National Congress of Holy Shrines with an emphasis on Hazrat Hussein Ibn Musa Kazem. Tehran: Sazman owghaf va omur-e kheyrie.
• Allisson, P. M. (1999). Introduction, The archaeology of household activities: dwelling in the past. Penelope M. Allison, (ed.). London: Routledge.
• Ashrafi, M. (2012). Proceedings of the First Conference on Hand-Carved Architecture in Kerman. May 2-4, 2011. Tehran: Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, Handicraft, and Tourism.
• Ashrafi, M. (2015). Abstract of the articles of the second international congress of hand-carved architecture in Tehran. October 2015. Tehran: Institute of Cultural Heritage, Handicraft, and Tourism.
• Clark, S. (1999). The Annales School Critical Assessments.
• Lioyd, C.D., Atkinson, P. M. (2004). Archaeology and geostatistics. Archaeological Science, (31): 151- 165.
• Gross, R. S., Marshall, F. (2004). Reconstruction of spatial organization in abandoned Maasai settlements: implications for site structure in the pastoral Neolithic of east Africa. Archaeological Science, (31): 1395- 1411.
• Davari, M.S. (2013). Documentation and preliminary report of archaeological research on Ludaricheh char Taghi in Borkhar County. Esfahan: Directorate General of Heritage, Handicraft, and Tourism of Isfahan Province. Unit for the recording of works (not published).
• Dehkhoda, A. A. (1961). Dehkhoda Dictionary. QOM: Computer Science Research Center of Islamic Sciences.
• Esfahani, H. H. (1988). Sanial Mulukularz val Anbia. Translated by Shaa’ar, J. Tehran. Amir Kabir Press.
• Fazli Nejad, A. (2009). Research in “annals” historiography. Electronic Monthly Journal of Contemporary History of Iran, (16): 47-81.
• Hemmtiazandariani, I. & Khaksar, A. (2013). A look at the archaeological research of the underground hand-carved architectural complex of Arzanfoud in Hamedan. Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Young Archaeologists in November 2013. Tehran: Mirase Ketab.
• Hojjat, M. (1998). Space. Ravagh Journal, (1): 17-27.
• Karimiyan, H. (2005). Necessity of Utilization of New Theories in Spatial Structure Analysis of ancient textures. Journal of Literature and Human Sciences faculty, 56 (172): 111 - 121.
• Karimian, H. & Ahmadi, A.A. (2015). Space archaeology; a scientific approach to the study and analysis of architecture works, urban spaces, and ancient textures. Journal of Archaeological Studies, 7 (2): 103-116.
• Mehriar, M. (2005). Comprehensive lexicon of names and old places of Isfahan. With an introduction by Salavati, F. Isfahan: Farhang and Mardom Press.
• Nast, Heidi, J. (1996). Islam, gender and slavery in west of the Kano Palace, Northen Nigeria. Annals of the Association of Amarican Geographers, 86 (1): 44- 77.
• Mossadeghzadeh, H. and Nasr Esfahani, A. KH. (2011). Travertine petrology of red mines northwest to Vartoun Village in the northeast of Isfahan. Proceedings the second Conference Earth Sciences and Commemoration of Mohammad Gharib. the pioneer professor of geological sciences, Azad University, Ashtian Unit.
• Pahlavan Alamdari, L. & Amini Badr, F. (2014). An Analytical Study of Factors Affecting the Formation, Classification, and Recognition of the Iranian Hand-Carved Architecture. Case Study of Kandovan and Meymand villages. International Conference on new methods of Field-oriented architecture design and construction. Tabriz: Department of Architecture and Urban Design of Seismic Retrofitting Institute of Iran,
• Siro, M. (1978). Ancient paths of Isfahan area and dependent ways. Mehdi Mashayekhi. Tehran: National Organization for the Protection of Iranian Antiquities.
• Yektayan, G. & Shabani, M. (2006). Vartoun Spa Facility Registration Record. Controlled and rewritten by Fahime Naghashzargar. Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization of Isfahan Province: Unit for the recording of works (not published).