The article “Jundi Shapur, one of birthplaces of knowledge and wisdom, undergoes restoration” was published by the Tehran Times on September 4, 2021. The version printed below has been slightly edited from its original version.


A new round of restoration work was initiated in 2021 on the ancient Gundi Shapur University in the southwestern Iranian city of Dezful. The project involves repairing and strengthening the damaged parts of the historical site including walls, floors, and its foundation using cob materials, the director of the historical site, Yaqub Zaleqi announced in early September 2021.

Water structures, historical bridges, the tomb of Yaqub Layth Saffari, and the surrounding area of the excavation trench, all situated inside the historical site, have also undergone some rehabilitation works.

One of the remaining structures at the site of the ancient site of the University of Gundi Shapur (Source: Tehran Times).

Last August the official announced that a documentation project is being carried out on the ancient site to demarcate the historical area to prevent possible damage from agricultural activities as well as provide necessary infrastructures for future projects on the site.

An aerial view of the excavations undertaken of the ancient university of Gundi-Shapur (Source: Tehran Times).

Gundi-Shapur (commonly known as Jundi Shapur), was one of the world’s birthplaces of knowledge and wisdom, which is a source of national pride and enthusiasm for Iranians. The city was the intellectual center of the Sassanid Empire (224–651) and the home of the Academy of Gundi-Shapur University, which offered education and training in medicine, philosophy, theology, and science.

Gundi-Shapur university was home to a teaching hospital, and also comprised a library and a center of higher learning. It has been identified with extensive ruins south of Shahabad, a village 14 km south-east of Dezful, to the road for Shush, in the present-day province of Khuzestan.

A sketch by Parvaneh Pasha of one of the library annexes of Gundi-Shapur University as it may have appeared in c. 550 CE (Source: Payvand News). The university had a reported total of 400,000 textbooks in topics such as mathematics, medicine, physical sciences, theology and literature.  

The town fell into decline after the Muslim conquest of Persia (633–654), the city surrendering in 638, however, it continued to remain an important center during the Muslim period. Yaqub Layth Saffari, the founder of the Saffarid dynasty, made Gundi-Shapur his residence three years before his sudden death. His tomb became one of the most prominent sites in the city.