News ID: 317166
Published: 0314 GMT October 17, 2021

Radkan Tower in Khorasan Razavi Province, a sophisticated instrument of astronomical science

Radkan Tower in Khorasan Razavi Province, a sophisticated instrument of astronomical science
IRNA

Standing some 100 feet tall on a hillock in northeastern Iran, Radkan Tower was long assumed to be an ancient tomb, or perhaps a beacon guiding travelers in the area.

In fact, it’s likely it was something much more spectacular.

The tower known also as, Mil-e Radkan, is located 26 kilometers northwest of Chenaran, Khorasan Razavi Province.

Thanks to the discoveries of an archaeoastronomer, it’s now believed the Radkan Tower was an incredibly sophisticated instrument of astronomical science built nearly 800 years ago, atlasobscura.com wrote.

The yellow-brick tower dates to the mid13th century and was created by one of the greatest Persian scholars of the age, Muhammed Nasireddin Tusi. A polymath, scientist, and astronomer, Tusi is known for helping found the pioneering observatory at Maraqeh, East Azerbaijan Province, which, along with the Radkan Tower, collected invaluable information about the stars and sky during a period of remarkable scientific discovery.

The tower has 12 walls corresponding to the 12 months in a year, with 36 columns arund the exterior, topped with a conical roof. The structure seems to have been completed in 1261 CE.

Shape of the tower is like a cone. Internal diameter of tower is 14 and external diameter is 20 meters. The tower has dodecagon walls which are precisely constructed.

Date of construction, descriptions and some texts about designer are carved at the top of it

on a stone. Materials used for building the tower are brick, lime, plaster and clay.

On the days of the solstice and equinox each year, the sun is aligned perfectly to shine through the doors on opposite sides of the tower. It’s also believed the structure can determine the beginning of the four seasons, leap years, and the start of Norouz, Iranian New Year.

It was possibly with data collected here, and at his more famous observatory at Maraqeh, that Tusi managed to calculate the earth’s diameter and explain discrepancies between Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s theories of planetary movement.

 

   
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