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Meymand Rocky Village

16 May, 2016 John Flint Iran Destinations Guide 1758 Views 30 Shares
Meymand Rocky Village

Meymand Rocky Village is believed to be one of the primary places of human residence on the Iranian Plateau dating back 12,000 years.

Meymand is a self-contained, semi-arid area at the end of a mountain valley. The complex has 406 hand-dug residential units called 'Kijeh,' so you might call the locals troglodytes. It's similar to Cappadocia in Turkey, however smaller with fewer tourists. The village consists of more than 2,560 rooms in addition to a mosque, Hossienieh (old public bath), and a school. Each of the rooms have been hand-dug into the heart of mountain consisting of soft rock (kamar). 

Most of the current area has been inhabited for only 1,000 years, however some of the caves have been inhabited for as long as 3,000 years. There have been stone engravings found around the village around 10,000 years old, and deposits of pottery nearly 6,000 years old. This bears testament to the long history of settlement around the Meymand Rocky Village area, which is why UNESCO listed it as a significant cultural site of early civilisation.

 

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Meymand hand-dug cave houses.

 

The villagers are semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists. They raise their animals on mountain pastures, living in temporary settlements in spring to autumn, then migrating lower down the valley in the Meymand Rocky Village during the winter months. The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has a base around Meymand village to continue research and investigate different fields. This includes renovation works around the village and supporting the local handicrafts such as carpentry, metalworks, felting, and weaving. They have also established a Hostel, restaurant, shop, anthropology museum and a picture exhibition. The natural and historical monuments include fossils, mills and caves.

 

 

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Meymand Village.

 

Travelling to Meymand is ideal during Spring and Summer, but also beautiful in winter. It's a sleepy village with elderly women floating around, but the day tourists keep them bury enough selling wild herbs, woven goods, and nomadic hats made of 'namad' (soaked and compressed wool). The locals will teach you about their wild herbs also; all kinds of medicinal purposes such as stomach problems, headaches, and diabetes. The locals seem old too and many live to 100, so who knows they might be onto something. But it might be best to use a guide to translate for you.

To get there driving on a Tour, Iranian friend, or personal car would be recommended, otherwise you would need to catch buses to Shahr-e Babak from either Yazd, Kerman or Shiraz, then catching a private taxi 'dar baste' to Meymand (35km). 

 

Cultural Landscape of Maymand

 

 

 

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John Flint

Tehran Sfiran Writing Editor

I'm John, I'm based in Tehran doing freelance writing, editing and marketing.

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