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Bam Citadel Gate Buried Under Rubble


News Category:

Parthian Dynasty - Islamic Period

 11 January 2004



The gate to the collapsed historical Bam Citadel, the world biggest mud brick structure, thought to have been looted, was confirmed to have been buried under the rubble and most probably broken to pieces.

An experienced tour guide well-informed on the ruined ancient monument and Deputy Head of Bam Cultural Heritage Association Mahmoud Towhidi in Bam, told IRNA that pieces of the gate were unearthed while bulldozers were retrieving the corpses of two of the citadel's guardsmen.

Meanwhile, Towhidi pointed out that the gate doesn't have any historical origin. "The gate originally belonging to the historical Ganj-Ali Khan Complex had been presented to Bam Citadel in 1972 to protect it," he added.

According to him, though 75 percent of the citadel has been demolished, it is repairable. He referred to the protection of the historical monument's remains by the Cultural Heritage Guards ever since the earthquake destroyed it as a timely measure to preserve it.

"According to the latest excavations at the site, 13-cm mud bricks dating back to the Arsacid Dynasty proves that the Citadel is about 2,250 years old. Stressing that Bam Citadel can be restored, he confirmed the death of most of the laborers involved in the excavation process and that the experts and architects are safe and sound. The author of 'A report on Bam Citadel', Towhidi reiterated that the restoration of the monument should be expedited.

The Citadel, purported to be the second largest and most glamorous historical complex in the country after the Persepolis was a heritage in which every Iranian could take pride.

A number of cultural heritage lovers, arriving at the site on the third day following the catastrophe in Bam to inspect the collapsed citadel, regretted the calamity once they observed how grave it was. The destruction of Bam Citadel is a dual major catastrophe occurring simultaneous with the big toll taken by the disastrous quake.

The seriously-harmed 20-hectare citadel originally founded under the rule of Sassanids (224-637 AD) consisted of four interconnected fortifications with 48 watchtowers.

Some of its structures dated back to pre-12th-century period mostly built during the Safavid period (1502-1722). Looking like a gigantic sand castle, it was a major attraction for film buffs and tourists.



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