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3 Red Snake: The Great Wall of Gorgan, Iran

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Chapter Summary

The Great Wall of Gorgan has many names: the 'Red Snake' ('Qizil Alan' in Turkeman language) because of the red-colored brick used for its construction; 'Sadd-i Iskandar' ('Alexander's Barrier'), 'Sadd-i Piruz' ('Barrier of Peroz'), and 'Sadd-i Anushiravan' ('Khusrau I's Barrier'). The team's confidence in determining the historical timeline for the Wall's structure is also supported by the fact that various Sassanid administrations, particularly the one during Emperor Khosrau I's reign (531-579 AD) had undertaken public work mega-projects that also included erecting defensive walls and building moats in Mesopotamia, the Caucasus and in the north-east; as well as establishing settler colonies along the barriers to defend the Empire on the frontiers. The Wall was built at a time of the Sassanid Empire's plunge into a period of uncertainty and territorial disputes.

Keywords: Emperor Khosrau I; Great Wall of Gorgan; Red Snake; Sassanid administrations

10.1163/9789004260665_004
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