have destroyed some parts of the staircase of the “Holy
Area” of Pasargadae in order to find a treasure promised
in an alleged manuscript found earlier. The staircase of
the Achaemenid’s “Holy Area”, is located outside
the historical site of Pasargadae.
is one of the most important historical sites of the
country located in Fars province. This marvelous monument
has been constructed by the order of Cyrus the Great, the
founder of Achaemenid dynasty, and has been registered in
UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites.
months ago, one third of the staircase of the “Holy
Area”, which is located outside the preserved area of
Pasargadae, was destructed by the illegal diggers. The
evidence indicates that they were most probably looking
for some treasure mentioned in an old manuscript,” said
Babak Kial, head of Pasargadae Research Center.
According to Kial, although the case was reported to the
police department of Fars province for preserving the
historical sites immediately, and the director of the
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Fars
province asked for immediate measures to be taken in order
to follow the case, nothing has been done in this respect
The Limestone staircases, about seven feet high, stand
solitary in a section of Pasargadae known as the “Holy Area”.
It was erected by Cyrus the Great around 545 BC.
speculate that the monarch ascended the stepped alter
(above picture, foreground) and in attitude of
devotion faced the other structure in form of a raised
platform, which held a sacred fire. Confirming this theory
are imperial carvings at Naqsh-e Rustam, which present the
sovereign and a sacrosanct flame on similarly opposed
This “Holy Area” is not located in the vicinity of
Pasargadae Complex; thus there are no security systems in
the area to protect it from illegal diggers and smugglers.
Nevertheless, this historical site is as important as the Persepolis and
palaces of Pasargadae; and the destruction of the staircase can be
compared to the loss of one of the pillars of Persepolis.
“The case went under investigation as soon as it was
reported to the police department of the province,” said
Mehdi Saffari, deputy director of the Cultural Heritage
Police Department of Fars province.
He also explained that it is the first time such a
depredation has taken place in the historical site of
Pasargadae; and the police department is doing its best to
arrest the smugglers.
The historical site of “Holy Area” is now claimed to
to become protected by the police department to prevent such
depredations in the future.
recent decades the ruling clerics in Iran not only are
negligent, but even purposely ignore the
securities of the pre-Islamic Iranian sites. The authority
are claiming that the lootings and destructions have been
committed as the result of lack of manpower and current financial
difficulties in Iran, while five million Iranians are
suffering from unemployment, and US$2.5-billion was spent
for constructing a tomb for the the leader of Islamic revolution
1979, while Islamic structures and even recently built
minute mosques are benefiting form superb security,
unlimited funds, care and attentions, the real Iranian
heritage left unguarded to be rubbed and destroyed by
looters and those who claim that Iranian history began in
7th century after the invasion of Iran by Arabs.
one of the vanguards of Islamic revolution and the head of
Islamic Revolutionary Courts, Ayatollah Khalkhali, tried
to demolish and flattened Persepolis; if was not because
of people of Shiraz, who laid down front of bulldozers,
the Persepolis would have been lost forever.