Prehistoric cave houses become a tourist destination

TEHRAN – A series of prehistoric cave houses and their rock-carved surroundings located in northwestern Iran will be prepared for tourists.

“The troglodyte caves of Binalar, located in the county of Meshkinshar (province of Ardebil), will be [temporary] handed over to the private sector to prepare for sightseeing, ”Provincial Tourism Chief Nader Fallahi said on Monday.

“These cave caves were once the settlements of the first humans … and they house two and three story dwellings, parts of which have been destroyed over time … and some of these caves are interconnected,” said the official.

“The involvement of the private sector is an important step towards the prosperity of the Binalar caves to attract tourists to the area,” Fallahi said.

So far, tens of thousands of ancient petroglyphs and rack-carved art have been unearthed in Meshginshahr County, some of which depict mountain goats, boat anchors, shootings and scenes from war, as well as deer hunting scenes in individual and collective forms.

Rock art can be seen in some mountainous areas of Iran where wandering life and herding is generally prevalent. Animal figures carved out of rock, associated tools are considered good clues to help shed light on everyday life in the distant past, although some figures may be symbolic.

Iran is a paradise for ancient cave architecture which is somewhat forgotten despite being full of life and creativity. The northwestern village of Kandovan is one of the most famous examples of cave architecture in the country; its ice-cream cone-shaped houses resemble those in Cappadocia in Turkey.

In 2018, the country hosted the 3rd International Conference on Cave Architecture where dozens of experts, researchers and universities discussed the architecture, culture and technology associated with cave dwellings.


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