In the Fin region, before you get to the Fin garden, there is an ancient area called the Sialk Hill (or Sialk Tepe as it is more widely known). Although, seeing a dusty hill may not be as interesting as one might think, but visiting this area could take you back to such old times that you could not even think of before.
Sialk is the name of the first central Iranian civilization in Kashan which is located in the south west of this city. Eight thousands years have passed since this hill and this civilization have come to exist.
Primitive people for the safety of their lives had chosen caves in which to live. But, when climate change led to the formation of meadows, people turned to them for living. The first people ever to choose meadows for living were the residents of Sialk from 5500 years ago.
Prior to year 1310 (Solar), among the people of Kashan, this city was known as the cursed city and no ancient artifacts belonging to this area had been found.
How the Sialk Hill was discovered
Around the year 1380 (Solar), flooding in the farmlands of Kashan revealed a grand and thousands-year-old civilization. To find ancient artifacts people came to this place, they found some artifacts and sold them. This cause a twofold harm; first digging the ground damaged the remains of this place, secondly, the valuable terra cottas that were found were in the hands of mongers and finally got to the hands of westerners which led to the loss of a great part of this civilization. Roman Girshman, French archeologist who works for the Louvre Museum, in order to know and perhaps to save a civilization that belongs to all the people of the world, came to Iran and with help of Andre Godard, who was the director of the national museum of Ian, was able to continue excavating this area.
The application of Sialk Hill
The Sialk Hill was actually a civilization between two northern and southern hills which are 600 meters apart and now are both cemeteries. Some believe what is left of this civilization is the Ziggurat or the chapel of this civilization. A theory which has been rejected by many other researchers. They believe that at any time and in any civilization one part was added to the previous; and this added part could have been on or next to the already existing part.
Life of the people in Sialk
According to the artifacts that have been found in the Sialk Hill, is can be said that this place was one of the most industrial cities of the time;
- Weaving and spinning spindles have been found which are indicative of the existence of such industry in that town.
- Furnaces which were used to melt iron have been found with the help of which people built themselves what they needed.
- Pottery wheel and terra cottas have been found which are indicative of the existence of the business of pottery in this place.
- Also, cows’ and sheep’s bones that have been in this place are indicative of animal breeding and herding in this place.
- The people of this place gradually turned to decorative items. They used iron oxide to decorate their houses and built themselves jewelry from metal or bone.
Death rituals of the people in Sialk
- At first, the people of Sialk would bury their dead in a position of squat. They used to cover the bodies of their dead with a veneer of ocher flower and along with some offerings would bury in the depth of 15 to 20 meters under their house.
- Around 3200 years ago some new immigrants moved to Sialk. They held burial rituals for their dead in separate cemeteries. Today, only 15 graves remain which belong to those times.
- The burial ritual changed a bit in the next period. They used to make the graves such as small hills and some of these graves were ornamented with cut stones or big bricks which probably was a sing of the dead’s status. From that time, about 200 graves remain today.
Sialk Hill’s houses
- Researchers say that the early resident of these hills lived in temporary huts which they built using sugar canes and twigs and covered them with flowers.
- Then they used to build their houses with short stacked walls.
- In the next period they built their houses using abode.
- About 5000 year ago the era of writing or urbanization began. The most important cultural change caused by this era was the creation of script and writing in their primitive form. Business and trade boomed in this era.
Irantrawell recommends anyone who is interested in history to visit this place and hiring a tour guide travel to the depth of the history of the Sialk Hill.
The likely visiting hours of this place is about two hours. Since Sialk Hill is close to other tourist spots, you can plan your visit in a way that after seeing the Sialk Hill, you can visit the shrine of the Imamzade Shazde Ibrahim, and then the Fin garden.
Don’t forget to visit the museum that is located in the Sialk Hill.
Visiting the Sialk Hill in Kashan
Address: Isfahan province, 4 kilometers to the south west of Kashan, next to the Deziche village (Kashan to Fin road)
Ticket for foreign visitors: 15000 Toman
Visiting hours: 9 to 18:30 (first half of the year; spring and summer) – 9 to 16:30 (second half of the year; fall and winter)
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