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In Western Iran, A Village Carved From Stone

The village of Kandovan in Iran's East Azerbaijan Province is home to ancient cliff dwellings, some of them inhabited for as long as 700 years. The rock formations in the region are the remains of volcanic activity from nearby Mount Sahand. Over the centuries, inhabitants have carved homes out of the rock faces and gradually added rooms, porches, windows and stairwells. (Photos by Boris Belev)

Some 680 people live in the village of Kandovan, near the city of Tabriz in Iran's East Azerbaijan Province.
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Some 680 people live in the village of Kandovan, near the city of Tabriz in Iran's East Azerbaijan Province.

Daily life takes place in and around the caves and man-made rooms carved from the region's volcanic rock.
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Daily life takes place in and around the caves and man-made rooms carved from the region's volcanic rock.

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Brick and wood structures merge seamlessly with the rock formations.
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Brick and wood structures merge seamlessly with the rock formations.

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Ancient cliff dwellings have been updated with windows and balconies.
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Ancient cliff dwellings have been updated with windows and balconies.

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Women shop at a roadside stall.
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Women shop at a roadside stall.

Beans, grains, and spices on sale at a market in Kandovan
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Beans, grains, and spices on sale at a market in Kandovan

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A painted sign shows Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
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A painted sign shows Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

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