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Friday, May 30, 2008

The Tower of Silence, Cham

The towers of silence are where the Zoroastrians lay out their dead for the vultures to devour, in ancient practice that makes sound theological sense but sends shivers to most other people. In the 20th century, however, this practice became illegal in Iran and the towers were no longer used.
The ruins of some of these ancient towers and associated religious and ceremonial buildings continue to stand in Yazd and surrounding areas, often in the most dramatic landscapes and setting. The towers often resemble citadels perched on cliff sides or small hills, overlooking the plains beyond, projecting the eternality and ever-presence of the almighty.
Picturesque in their eroded state, these eerie towers were often built on foundations of earlier Zoroastrian buildings and one could almost imagine the kings, priests and soldiers of ancient Persia still wandering in these ruins.

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