Cave Villages in Iran

Someone on my course told me about the Cave villages in Kandovan, Iran. These are homes that have been built into the volcanic rock which is unique as it is soft enough to carve into but also hard enough to stay a strong and supportive structure. These houses resemble ancient cave dwellings because they are. They have been passed down through generations and have been adapted over time but only slightly. Many homes are hidden within the rock and it is only when you look close that you can see the windows and doors.

I think these are interesting because they are close to what the scenery would look like for the worms inside one of my rocks. In my project I am trying to show the worm’s view through illustrating their world using the the little I know and a bit of imagination. I want to show us (the human race) a perspective that we can never possibly see because we cannot fit inside these rocks. To use this world is completely alien however these cave houses are in a sense the closest experience a human can have to this world.

Information about the caves and pictures taken from: http://whenonearth.net/curious-cave-houses-kandovan-iran/

‘In Kandovan, there is a collection of amazing houses, unlike any others in the world. For more than seven centuries, people have inhabited the caves in the surrounding mountains and stone formations, building themselves a community you cannot see anywhere else in the world.

When you first come upon the houses, you might not notice them, as the stone used to expand the dwellings outside of the caves, mimics that natural color of the original stone. But once you get closer to the village, you can see the windows, power wires, doors, and chimneys jutting out of the rock face. Most communities have become modernized, with power and some even with running water, all while blending perfectly into the natural surroundings. The volcanic stone is both easy to manipulate and sturdy enough to support these ancient constructions.

What is particularly amazing about these homes is that they have supported life for centuries and centuries. They look like ancient cave dwellings because they are. The first inhabitants were from ancient tribes, but these homes have been updated and passed down from inhabitant to inhabitant.

Most communities have taken special precaution to preserve as much of the original cave as possible, so that both the exterior and the interior have that authentic Kandovan feel. Some houses rely on the natural cave formations, while others have been hollowed out into larger rooms, and have even been whitewashed to create a more modern look and feel. Decorated with colourful carpets and fabrics, these communities support almost 170 families.’

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