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Ancient Sites at Bolaghi Gorge at Risk


14 March 2005



Islamic regime' Ministry of Energy has announced that Sivand Dam in Fars province will become operational in December this year, which means that archaeologists have only nine months to save the 129 monuments and archaeological sites which are located along Bolaghi Pass, reported Persian service of CHN.

The 18-kilometer Bolaghi Pass is located eight kilometers from Pasargadae and constitutes part of its landscape. According to experts, sections of the Imperial (Shahi) Road, which is the most important ancient road in the country and was constructed on the order of Darius the Great of the third King of Kings of Achaemenid dynasty, was located along Bolaghi Pass.

The road links Pasargadae to Takht-e Jamshid (Persepolis) and Shoush (Susa). Some ancient relics have been found along the pass features including those belonging to the cave dwellers and settlements dating back from the before common era to the Post-Sasanid period.

Director of the Sivand Dam construction project, Saeed Jameai said that the project has so far shown a physical progress of 65 percent and it is scheduled to become operational in mid-January.

Noting that some 200 billion rials has so far been spent on the project and the same amount has been set aside for its completion, he said that if the project goes according to schedule, the archaeologists have nine months to save the archaeological sites located in the region.

“We have announced our readiness to put some facilities at their disposal to expedite the operations,“ Jameai said.
While the director of the project announced that the dam will be completed in nine months, archaeologists have predicted that it will take four years complete the project to retrieve the historical artifacts in the area.

Director of Iran-Italian excavation team engaged in Bolaghi Pass, Ali Reza Asgari said that four years is needed to save the sites and if the commissioning of the dam is not delayed, only a small section of the site can be explored.

Some groups from France, England, Poland, Germany, Australia and Japan are due to help Iranian experts in the operations to save the sites.


Source: Iran Daily




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