Built in 1190 but lost for centuries, the Minaret of Jam was only re-discovered mid-20th century. It is located in Afghanistan, in the most remote and inaccessible mountainous area.
It is 65 metres high and made out of baked bricks and glazed tiles. The site is thought to be the capital of the Ghurid Sultanate, the city of Firuzkuh or Turquiose Mountain. The writing is both Kufic and Naskh calligraphy of the Qur’an verses talking about Mary, mother of Jesus. There is also a Jewish cemetery nearby, showing this was a place of tolerance for the three religions.
It is on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in Danger as since the Taliban lost power, the site has been pillaged. There is the Minaret of Jam Archaeological Project, which is trying to stabilise the Minaret since no restoration work has been done since the Mongol invasion of 1222.
The Mysterious Minaret of Jam by Avi Abrams. On Dark Roasted Blend.
The Rediscovery of the Medieval Jewish Community at Fīrūzkūh in Central Afghanistān by Walter J. Fischel. JStor article.
Environmental Evidence from the Minaret of Jam Archaeological Project, Afghanistan by D. C. Thomas, K. Deckers, M. M. Hald, M. Holmes, M. Madella and K. White. JStor article.
Ghaznavid and Ghūrid Minarets by Ralph Pinder-Wilson. JStor article.
The Minaret: Symbol of Faith & Power by Jonathan M. Bloom. Published in Saudi Aramco World.
Dan Cruickshanks Adventures in Architecture– The Minaret of Jam (part1). YouTube clip.
Dan Cruickshanks Adventures in Architecture– The Minaret of Jam (part 2). YouTube clip.