Bolaghi Gorge, a significant part of the plain of Pasargadae,
the Achaemenid dynasty's first
capital, is on the brink of submersion when the
construction of a new dam is to be completed in the south of Iran.
The 18-km-long gorge is just 4 km away from the historical city,
just inscribed on UNESCO’s prestigious World Heritage List in
June. Archaeologists believe the gorge was part of the renowned
Achaemenid Imperial Route, driven by mounted couriers to deliver royal
messages from Pasargadae to Persepolis and Susa.
The gorge also
houses some residential caves, dating from the prehistoric to
the Islamic period.
dam construction began in 1992 by the 'Sakou Company' which belongs
to the Islamic Republic's Revolutionary Guards. Iran Cultural
Heritage Organisation was not informed about the dam
“The construction project of the Sivand Dam threatens to
flood part of the historical site of Pasargadae, washing away
many ancient and invaluable artifacts, mostly undiscovered,”
warned Dr Masoud Azarnoush, head of the archaeological research
center at Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization (ICHO).
The dam will be operational in 2 or 3 years, inundating a
stretch of over 8 km of the gorge, noted Babak Kial, head of the
Pasargadae site. He called for accelerated efforts to salvage
the would-be-submerged areas.
it seems this is a 'negative-rumor' propagated by the Islamic
Republic to divert attentions from main threat to Pasargadae and
which is the effects of humidity on the edifice, generated from
the artificial lake behind the dam. The extent of damage as the
result of humidity is currently unknown.
Suren-Pahlav of CAIS believes the construction of the dam also
threats the monuments at the Pasargadae including the mausoleum
of Cyrus the Great and Persepolis as the result of high humidity
as well as an increase in subterranean waters.
warns the main objective of the construction of such a dam is to
finish the job that Mr Ruhollah Khomeini and his right-hand man
Mr Sadeq Khalkhali were unable to finish in 1980 - the
destruction of Pasargadae and Persepolis.
covered an area of almost 1.5 miles in length and included palaces,
a temple and the tomb of the king of kings. The city was built
on the site where King Cyrus defeated his grandfather, and the
last king of the Median dynasty, Astyages, in 550 BCE.
The heart of Pasargadae is the citadel, which is known as Tall-i-Takht
or 'throne hill', overlooks a garden in the south. The
palace itself is complex, it consists of two smaller units: the
residential palace and the many columned audience hall. The
audience hall or 'Apadana' can be approached from the south-east;
the visitor first has to pass a gate and then has to cross a
bridge over the river Pulvâr.
The mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is situated a little to the
southwest. It was venerated by later rulers, the Macedonian king
Alexander, who ordered restorations in January 324 BCE. The tomb
of Cyrus' successor Cambyses was never finished.
Even though Darius the Great built a new capital, Persepolis, 43
kilometers downstream along the river Pulvar, Pasargadae
remained an important place, probably as the religious capital
of the Achaemenid Empire where the inauguration of the kings