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Photographer's Note

The ancient name of the Abyaneh is "Viona" which means willow grove. it is located on foot of Karkass (Volture) mountain, 70 km to the southeast of Kashan and 40 km to Natanz.

With a unique reddish hue, the village is one of the oldest in Iran, attracting numerous native and foreign tourists year-round, especially during traditional feasts and ceremonies.

Abyaneh has been called an entrance to Iranian history, wherein one can transcend the boundaries of time and space and experience the ancient civilization and culture of Iran. The local clothing, for example, is in a style of great antiquity. An Abyunaki woman typically wears a white long scarf (covering the shoulders and upper trunk) which has a colourful pattern and an under-knee skirt.They have persistently maintained this traditional costume despite pressures from time to time by the government trying to change it.

The village is compact, with narrow and sloped lanes, and houses located on the slope as if placed on a stairway. Here, the roofs of some houses are used to serve as the courtyard for other houses higher up on the slope. The language spoken by the literate people of Abyaneh is Parthian Pahlavi.

Abyaneh also resisted conversion to Islam throughout the ages, and stayed Zoroastrian until it was forced to convert to Shi'ite Islam in the time of the Saffavid Shahs, as were many other villages and towns that had held onto the Zoroastrian religion until then.

On top of the village sits the ruins of a Sassanid era fort.

Since June 2005, the village has been undergoing archaeological excavations for the first time ever, as a result of an agreement between Abyaneh Research Center and the Archaeology Research Center of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO).

For viewing more photos of this place, please visit:
http://www.pbase.com/k_amj/abyane

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Additional Photos by Ali Majdfar (amj) Silver Note Writer [C: 0 W: 0 N: 11] (90)
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