The 4,000-Year-Old Abandoned Mud-Brick Town of Kharanaq
Sitting in a remote valley about 70km (43 miles) north of Yazd in Central Iran, is the deserted and crumbling mud-brick village of Kharanaq. The site has been occupied for approximately 4,000 years, while the dilapidated adobe buildings that draw foreigners from around the world date back around 1,000 years. The abandoned town is a photographer’s dream with a labyrinth of streets, tunnels, passageways, and rooms, as well as more impressive buildings such as a tiny mosque, a shaking minaret, and an old caravanserai that welcomed merchants and pilgrims centuries ago.
Kharanaq, which means ‘place of birth of the sun’, is divided into two parts – the Old Town, which is almost completely deserted, and the New Town, where some 130 families continue to live.