THE ADDRESS Magazine Summer 2014 - Page 419

Photo: Anisha Shah Shah Photo: Anisha becoming a World Heritage Site in 2009. In the town, a deeper Islam pervades these streets; women don mostly black headscarves and black full-length clothes and men boast surging beards. The biggest and best-preserved ziggurat temple in the world lies nearby; three concentric walls outline the town that contains ruins of the holy city of the Kingdom of Elam dating back to 1250 BC. The inner wall, of steep stepped sides and solid filling, forms the temple to the main god. The middle quarter contains 11 temples to lesser gods and the outer section features royal palaces and funerary palace with 5 royal tombs. Look closely to spot tiny Elamite cuneiform inscriptions on baked brick, all hand-inscribed. Crossing North to South by land spans a rollercoaster of roads burrowing through ravines and zipping over sun-flailed cliff-sides. Chapcheeked herders drive livestock back, or an elderly bedraggled nomad, one of 1.5 million, is bent double by the roadside. The alternative is to fly to Shiraz. 419