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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©

 

Sewage Wells Menace Kerman’s Historical Fabric

 

09 September 2004

 

 

Floating on a sea of sewage, Kerman’s historical fabric is threatened by crawling damp, which has already damaged the Ganjali khan Bath and grand Bazaar.


Since most Iranian cities lack a proper sewage system, people usually dig wells to discharge their waste, but now most of these wells are brimming with filth, menacing a 400-hctare area of historical buildings, mostly made of adobe and mud-brick.


“The constant filling of the wells is looming large for the ancient monuments which lack a damp-proof course in their foundations,” said Javad Nazarieh, an expert with Kerman’s Cultural Heritage Organization.


“Our studies show that you could dig filth out just 5 meters down the surface, but ironically it is impossible to siphon off all the wells without further damages to the historical fabric.”


Kerman city with a height of 1755 m. is located on a high margin of Kavir-e lut (Lut Desert) in the central south of Iran, is the Capital of Kerman Providence. Kerman is counted as one of the oldest cities and its name is derived from the Germaniol race listed by Herodotus, and its construction is attributed to Ardashir I of Sassanid Dynasty (Ardashir-e Babakan) in 3rd century CE.


Kerman city has a moderate and the average annual rainfall is 135 mm. Because it is located close to the Kavir-e lut, Kerman has hot summers and in the spring it often has violent sand storms. Otherwise, its climate is relatively cool.


Ganjali Khan was one of the famous rulers during the reign of Shah Abbas of Safavid. As the ruler of Kerman province he constructed many monuments and buildings. Ganjali Khan complex is composed of a school, a square, a caravanserai, a public bath, a water reservoir, a mint house, a mosque and a bazaar. A number of inscriptions laid inside the complex indicate the exact date when these places have been built.


Out of Ganjali Khan complex, the Khan public bath located in the grand bazaar of Kerman serves as an anthropology museum today and attracts an increasing number of Iranian and foreign tourists. This is a unique work of architecture with beautiful tile works, paintings, stuccos, and arches.


The bath rendered service no later than 60 years ago. In the closet section and main yard of the bath there are many life-like statues. These statues were designed at Tehran University's faculty of fine arts in 1973 and then transferred to this museum.


This complex has been built during the Safavid era (1501 - 1722 CE) enjoying a modern architectural style of the time. This bath is an association of architecture and application of an array of constructional materials in an appropriate space with totally popular approaches. The architect of the bath and the complex is a master from Yazd city named Mohammad Sultani.

 

 

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