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Archaeologists Demand Postponement of Sivand Dam Flooding


06 March 2005



Iranian experts are demanding a postponement of the flooding of Sivand Dam by the Islamic regime, saying they need at least another four years to study and save the ancient treasures of Bolaghi Gorge.

The current time span provided for the studies is just one year, and experts are worried that part of the culture and history of the area will be lost forever.

Bolaghi gorge is located 8 kilometers from the world heritage site of Pasargadae in Fars province and is considered part of its landscape. The Achaemenid King’s Road (rah-e shahi), the key historical road of Iran which was constructed by order of Darius the Great and connected Persepolis to Susa, passes through the gorge, and remains of cave dwellings and settlements as old as the prehistoric to the post-Sasanian times have been found there.

According to head of the joint team of Iranian and Italian archaeologists already starting work there, Alireza Asgari, just a small fraction of the remains could be saved before the one year time is up. He believes that at least four years are needed to save the ancient treasures.

So far, more than five thousand potsherds and a village dating to the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BC) have been discovered in the area, surprising the archaeologists.

Sivand Dam, the project of which started in 1998, is planned to be flooded by the Iregime's Energy Ministry by the end of next year. Until then, archaeologists from Iran, France, England, Poland, Germany, Australia, and Japan are to work there hand in hand to save its historical heritage.

During last months, experts from the Pars-e Pasargadae Research Institute and the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) have identified more than 100 ancient sites in the area, which, according to head of Pasargadae ancient complex, Babak Kial, include prehistoric hills, metal furnaces, caves and prehistoric dwellings, and two collective cemeteries dating to the Parthian dynasty (248 BC to AD 224).




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