Maraghe Observatory and an Effort towards Retrieval of Architectural Design of Astronomical Units


Assistant Professor of Conservation of Historical Buildings, Faculty of Architecture, International University of Imam Khomeini, Qazvin, Iran


Maraghe observatory was built by such engineers as Moayiededdin Orozi etc. under supervision of Khaje Nasireddin Tousi in 7th century AH. The most significant feature associated with Maraghe observatory is the fact that architecture is employed to achieve astronomical purposes in this site. The reason for preferring observatory by astronomers was the fact that these units are superior to wooden and metal instruments with respect to accuracy, no size limitations, etc.
Architectural design and function of astronomical units of Maraghe observatory site after discovery of its foundation in the course of explorations before Islamic Revolution remained unclear until recent years.
After conducting required studies and investigations, the author managed to find significant cues and after some precise comparisons, he succeeded to recover the main design and function of some astronomical units of this international center. Based on these findings these astronomical structures can reliably be rebuilt.
This research showed that every circular or polygonal building cannot be considered as an observatory. For example form and function of cemetery structures are completely different with astronomical ones. Following this research also valuable results were obtained in relation to stone architectural structures present on Maraghe observatory hill. In addition, claims about invention of astronomical units of Maraghe observatory by non-Iranian scientists are rejected and rights of Iranian scientists are rationally defended in this regard.



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  6., The Maragheh Observatory by Parvaneh », 2014
  7., 2015 ,Iran Review.