Oriental Institute Photographic Archives. The large mound of the Islamic city of Istakhr lies five kilometers north of Persepolis at the end of the Pulvar Valley, where it opens into the plain of Marv Dasht. The exact date of the founding of Istakhr is not known. Historical and archaeological evidence points to the importance of the city in Sasanian and Islamic times (beginning of the third century to the end of the ninth century A.D.) and to its prominence as a fire sanctuary of the goddess Anahita. Istakhr suffered extensive damage and capitulated to the Arabs in 648 A.D. When Shiraz was founded in 684 A.D., Istakhr was finally replaced as capital of the province of Fars.

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