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8 Ancient Dams Unearthed near Pasargad


15 December 2004

A team of experts from Iran, France and Belgium have unearthed the relics of 8 Achaemenid dams in the Morghab plain, in southern Iran.

Housing ancient empires’ palaces in Pasargadae, the flat land is one of the most ancient plateaus in the country and archaeologists have already discovered artifacts dating to several millennia B.C.

“Since recognizing the irrigation system of ancient people, especially those living under the reign of the Achaemenid Empire, is significant, we attempted at discovering archaeological structures with help of the past research projects and newly developed tools,” said a French expert with the team.

The study has led to the discovery of 8 ancient mud-brick dams and aerial photography and other techniques indicate they date back from the Achaemenid era, he added. Two of those dams were over 20 meters tall while the height of the rest was between 8 to 10 meters. Another expert noted that these irrigation dams had stone floodgates.

The capital and last resting place of Cyrus the Great is situated in the Morghab plain, some 110 miles north of Shiraz. Here Cyrus fought and won his last battle against his former suzerain, the Median king Astyages, in or near the year 550 B.C., and Pasargadae, named for the chief tribe of the Persians, was built as Strabo relates, as a `memorial to that epic victory`.

Pasargadae is an extensive site containing the remains of a massive platform, the Tall-e-Takhte; the majestic tomb of Cyrus himself, its foundation taking the form of a high plinth of six receding steps, upon which rests a gabled tomb chamber; two palaces; a monumental gate marked by a winged genius, with Egyptian crown; a royal garden, and an enigmatic tower known as the Zendan-e-Sulaiman (Prison of Solomon).


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