Skip to main content
Kalmakareh Cave

Kalmakareh Cave

Pol Dokhtar

Kalmakareh Cave


Lorestan is the cradle of human civilization with mountainous weather within Zagros mountains; the discovered bronze objects, the existence of caves like Mirmelas, Pasangar, Gararjaneh and Kalmakareh- related to 40000 years BC- Shapurkhast city, bridges like Kahskan and Pol Dokhtar is the evidence that it is a historical and ancient city.

Kalmakareh cave is located 15 kilometers northwest of Pol Dokhtar. Although it is near Pol Dokhtar, it is a part of Rumeshkhan district, in Kuhdasht county environs, based on the country divisions. This cave is placed on the hillside of Maleh or Mahleh with 650-meter height from the sea level. The last village is Bagh Darreh, after that you have a mountainous dirt three-hour path ahead to reach the entrance of the cave. Don’t forget to take the mountain and cave climbing equipment.

Before reaching the entrance you cannot see it, because the frontal is one meter and a half more protrusive than the entrance and therefore, makes it invisible. This natural cave has many stalactites and stalagmites that have been seriously damaged by human intervention.

The existence of the huge clay jars, water wells with freshwater and clay wares used in funeral is the indicator of the life of primitives here. The cave has four continuous halls among which only the first one is slightly light due to the sun light of the entrance, the other three halls are completely dark. You can enter the second hall crawling through an 80-centimeter corridor. The third and fourth halls are reachable after about six meters of climbing.

This cave was discovered in 1368 by a shepherd namely Aziz and attracted the researchers’ and archaeologists’ attention later. Unfortunately, most of the treasury of this cave was looted and now are on display in Metropolitan, Louvre and British Museums. However, and in spite of the little remained materials, archaeologists concluded that local rulers namely Samati or Samatoureh were governed this region under the Elamite empire, about 800 BC. Some believes that Uonsak, the last Samati king, hid this valuable treasure in the cave, after the end of Elamite reign, to prevent it from Assyrian’s rubbery and appointed guards for keeping it; the guards were later killed and buried in the entrance of the cave. Others state that this is an Acheamenid treasure that was hidden in this cave in time of Alexander’s attack to Iran. The third group considers the cave to had a ritual function, they recognize the discovered objects (13 wild goats and goats, 8 bulls and 2 eagles) as the symbol of Mehr believing that the scene of the victory of lion over the bull indicates the ritual of killing bull in Mehr religion that means this cave is related to Mehr. Kalmakare is also constituted from two words; Kalma that means the shelter of goats and Kareh that means the tree of wild fig both of which are the symbols of Mehr ritual.

The discovered materials are Rhyton, animal and human sculptures, golden and silver jewelry and golden masks decorated in azure stone and ivory. Stones and azures were imported from Badakhshan, Afghanistan. The writings on the objects are mostly in Elamite and cuneiform. In an inscription 17 Samati kings were named, four of them had the title of king and others were their followers.

Add new comment

About text formats

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.