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 Bisotun Engineering Astonished ICOMOS


06 October 2005


The representative of International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) who traveled to Iran to provide a report on Bisotun was astonished by the 2000-year-old mastery of the complex in 5 engineering fields: irrigation, stone craft, restoration, bridging, and industry.

“The Bisotun complex can be considered the museum of engineering and romantic scripts. The five branches of engineering -irrigation, stone crafts, restoration, bridges, and industry, have made Bisotun a site which amazed the representative of ICOMOS,” said Abdol Azim Amir Shahkarami, head of the geophysical studies of the site.

“Facing the 2000 year-old architecture of Bisotun and its progressive science and industry, ICOMOS representative was astonished,” he added, “nowadays, one of the main activities that must be regarded is the introduction of the hidden engineering behind the remains of the Iranian ancient monuments and structures. This hidden engineering in Bisotun region indicates that the ancient inhabitants had a proper view of Man, house, bridge, and nature.”

The existence of two unique water systems in the complex is a sign of the region inhabitants’ wisdom two thousand years ago. Regarding the location of the site in plain and swampy fields and the usual happening of earthquakes and floods in the region, digging 12 meter deep water channels implies the scientific geological understanding of the inhabitants of the region.

The studies reveal that the construction of Khosrow Bridge was the beginning of urbanization in the complex and Gamasyab River was its vital force.

This is while the ICOMOS representative has also suggested the registration of the natural landscape of the site along its other features on UNESCO World Heritage.

“Previously, only the registration of the historical site was considered,” said Maliheh Mahabadi, director of Bisotun project, “but ICOMOS suggestion includes also the registration of Bisotun nature.”

Bisotun complex, located 30 kilometers northeast of Kermanshah, includes a Median dynasty temple, Darius the Great' relief and frieze, Seleucid statue of Hercules, and the Sasanid monument of Bisotun. The most important aspect of the complex is the presence of Darius frieze which was the start point of discovering the ancient Persian, Babylonian and Elamite cuneiforms handwritings.



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