The Cave of Karaftu is situated 64 km from Saqqez . Strategically , this site connects the ancient road from Syria and Iraq , leading through Iran to Afghanistan , i.e. it is on the Silk Road .
Throughout history , and yet till today , many caravans have passed through this road , endowing particular importance to this region . Many sites in the immediate surrounding of this rocky mountain have been found to be connected via various tunnels and corridors through the rocks . These complexes date back to 300 B.C. , and belong to the Ashkanid dynasty .
These have constituted a temple for Heracles (2000 years ago) , and the name of this Greek god is carved on one of the walls of the third room , accompanied by a horse rider (hunting a deer) which is believed to illustrate Goudarz the Ashkanid king . Various war triumphs are also illustrated , and these are also believed to date back to the same historical era .
The eminent Russian historian Tasit , claimed that these paintings illustrate the importance of this temple causing highly important triumph of Goudarz and Mehrdad the Ashkanid kings .
Entering these caves is still very difficult , as the entrances are placed on the heights of this steep mountain . The corridors are also difficult to pass through , as the sizes are constructed for strategical purposes . Some passages also maintain natural water wells , and many of the labyrinth-like corridors lead to important fireplaces (in the temple) .
Investigating the paintings , have revealed that oil based colors have been used , and attached buildings in the various wings , are signs to an annexed village to the temple .