The Fire Altars
Twin fire altars facing the plain of Marvdasht, can be seen if you
walk round the hillside in the same direction that you came. They
command a fine view over the latter plain. In the hollowed-out tops of
these altars the holy fire was kindled. They are cut from the living
rock round the corner of the cliff containing the tombs of four
Achaemeni.an Kings. The old Achaemenian highway, on which they are
positioned, runs from Istakhr past the tombs and the table mountains
visible in the north, to Susa. The fire altars might have doubled as
beacons and lighthouses for the traveler approaching at night.
Between these fire altars and the investiture scene of Ardeshir I, is
the old stone quarry. Rock next to the carving of Ardeshir's
investiture is split which permitted water to cascade down in front of
the carving. The water was brought by a water course, wh.ich was
carved out of the rock underneath the stone quarries.