A rock-cut tomb of the Mongol period in the Ilkhanid capital of Maraghe
Moradi, Amin (2022): „A rock-cut tomb of the Mongol period in the Ilkhanid capital of Maraghe“. Springer Singapore doi: 10.1007/s41826-022-00049-x.
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By the time of Kublai’s death, the Mongol Empire had fractured into four separate khanates or empires including the Golden Horde [Kipchak] in the northwest, the Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia, the Ilkhanate, based in modern-day Iran, and the Yuan Dynasty in the east. Although the burial architecture of the Yuan Dynasty and their funeral ritual have been the foci of the archaeologist, there have been no convincing conclusions about the other branches of the Mongol Empire. According to historical literature, all of the Ilkhanid Khans before Ghazan (1271–1304 CE) were buried in unknown places after their death. Archaeologically, not only we have no clue to trace the royal tombs of the pre-Ghazan period, even the identifiable tombs of the royal family members of the Ilkhanid Iran and high-ranking Mongol nobles have not discovered. Taking Maraghe, in Northwest Iran, as the first Ilkhanid capital (1256–1265 CE), the aim of this paper is to study the archaeological remains of the enigmatic rock-cut complex in the village of Varōy [Varjavy] to provide a more detailed description of the current remains. The results show that, while reassessment of the possible functions regarding this site suggest and outright contradict to the traditional views of scholars as a mithraeum, the architectural layout of this building is deeply intertwined with Mongol funeral sites and has much to tell about the relationship between rock-cut complexes and Ilkhanid cemeteries.
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Mihr Temple of Maraghe
November 11, 2022