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Pasargadae Can Withstand Earthquakes


13 February 2005



The Achaemenid architects who constructed Pasargadae some 2500 years ago used an innovative method called “base isolation” to consolidate their structures against earthquake.

The Pasargadae structure, in Fars province, is located in a quake prone area and the architects who built it used base isolation to prevent distruction due to earthquakes up to a magnitude of 7 on Richter scale.

The method which is still used in construction of major sites specially in earthquake prone areas such as in Japan, includes the installation of two bases, one fixed and another, which comes over the first, movable. In case of an earthquake, the bases would move and therefore the distructive force of the tremblances is defeated and the structures can stand safe and sound in earthquakes up to a magnitude of 7 on Richter scale.

Construction of Pasargadae with such technique is an indication of the developed knowledge of archictecture and climatic conditions, head of the architectural studies of the historical site, Abdol Azim Shah Karami, epxlained to CHN.

Studies on the site have shown that the Achaemenid architects were also aware of the area’s soil not being able to withstand the heavy structures, and have therefore laid vast foundations deep down the soil.

Pasargadae historical site is the first Achaemenid capital, built 2500 years ago by order of Cyrus the Great. Today the complex, located near Shiraz, in the southern province of Fars, enjoys inscription on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.



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