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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Archives Des Sciences
Title Sacred Places: Instances of Natural Heritage and Cultural Landscapes in Northern Iran (Case Study of the Shrine and Cemetery of Sutak Village)
Volume 65
Issue 7
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 605-612
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Mohammad_Avatefi_Hemmat/publication/230728316_Sacred_Places_Ins​tances_of_Natural_Heritage_and_Cultural_Landscapes_in_Northern_Iran_/links/0912f5038d46bc37d9000000.​pdf
Sacred places include holey temple, village shrine, cemetery, grave, river, lake, mountain peak, and other
rare phenomena like trees in an area which respected by local people. These phenomena distinguished with
different characteristics from the other usual kind. In addition to their role in ensuring spiritual desires of
local people, they have an important role in conservation of biodiversity, gene pool, minority’s culture;
meet the subsistence economy of local people, religious tourism, environmental amenity, reducing soil
erosion, and control run off which emphasized by different researchers. These phenomena rooted in
prehistoric traditions, however given the antiquity of Iran and Persian civilization there are a few publishing
related with various aspects of them. This paper examined the socio ecological role of sacred place of Sutak
village in the lowland of Caspian forests, northern Iran. Local people have respected the area as place for
pilgrimage and spiritual desires. Cutting the trees and encroachment of land have been forbidden by
traditional customs. This site conserve retain of boxwood forests of Caspian plain. So that 18 woody
species were identified in 6821 square meter area of village shrine. the Most thickest trees in this area is a
hornbeam with a diameter of 122 cm in height of breast and the Most thickest boxwood in this area has
35.7 diameter in the height of breast. This study demonstrates the power of traditional and religious
institutions in the protection of local environment and natural heritage and interconnected aspects of human
and natural environmental phenomena.

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