The Helmand Sistan Project
Key Sites

Chehel Burj

Gazetteer ID: 190
Latitude: 30.94053274   Longitude: 62.11289542
Enlarged satellite view

Map Number: 1  Go to the MAP

The site is an extensive complex of at least five large buildings. Though the standing buildings probably date to Ghaznavid times in the 11th century, ceramic evidence suggests they were first built in the early centuries CE. Two large fortresses—one square and approximately 170 m on each side, the other round and 85 m in diameter—are the most prominent buildings in the complex. Each has a courtyard in the center and rows of rooms around the edges, mostly two stories. The name chehel burj, “forty towers,” probably was used to describe the large square fortress, though it has 87 towers around the exterior. Because of its impressive size and extensive preservation, this site had been visited by previous researchers and was only quickly examined by our team.

The largest fortress at Chehel Burj. The original building dates to Parthian or Sasanian times in the early 1st millennium, but the high-standing walls with 87 exterior towers are likely more recent.