Old Zoroastrian Fire Temple – Ani
|THE ANI FIRE-TEMPLE|
The foundations of this unusual structure were uncovered by Nikolai Marr’s excavations before the First World War, during his 1909 season. Since those excavations ended, the fire-temple has been mostly ignored and omitted from maps and descriptions of Ani.
It is thought to be the remains of a Zoroastrian “fire worshipping” temple, dating from between the early first century to the middle of the fourth century AD. Alternatively, it may be an early Christian monument: an open-air martyrion from the fourth or fifth century. In Armenia there are many underground martyrions, but no known examples of an open-air one.
Whatever its purpose, it is probably the oldest surviving structure in Ani, and, if it is a fire-temple, it proves the existence of at least one substantial building at Ani from before the Christian period. At a later period the structure was converted into a chapel by the insertion of curved walls between its four columns.Click here for more…..