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Ancient Tang-e Bolaghi to be Drowned Sooner than Promised


16 October 2005



(MNA) -- Officials in charge of the Sivand Dam Project have announced that the dam will come on stream on February 1st, 2006 the Persian service of CHN reported on Sunday.


The dam was scheduled and promised not to become operational before March 2006, but the date was pushed forward, the executive manager of the dam project, Jalal Jamei, said.


Located in Iran’s southern province of Fars, Tang-e Bolaghi and its very significant ancient sites will be flooded by the Sivand Dam.


Jamei stated that the water of the plains below the dam and the Arsanjan region is not suitable for irrigation, adding, “We have promised to provide the farmers the necessary water for their farm products.


“We chose the day February 1 since it coincides with the first day of the Ten-Day Dawn (the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution). In addition, the winter rain and snow will help fill the water reservoir up to 30 million cubic meters,” he noted.


According to Jamei, 30 million cubic meters of water will not fill the whole reservoir, but will only provide the water necessary for farming for the time being.


Jamei pointed out that archaeologists are currently working at the site, and the project officials are cooperating with them, saying, “We are planning to control the water filling process in a way that the archaeologists will have enough time to save the nearby ancient site.” (!)


Once, part of the renowned imperial route to Persepolis and Susa, Tang-e Bolaghi will be flooded by the Polvar River when the Sivand Dam is completed. Part of Pasargadae will be buried under mud, and even the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is believed to be at risk.


Tang-e Bolaghi contains sites from the Neolithic and Paleolithic periods, the middle and late Elamite era (2700-645 BC), and the Sassanid era (224-651 CE).


Experts believe that the water stored in the dam’s reservoir will increase humidity, which will later damage the foundations of the palaces as well as the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.     


The area is home to 84 historical sites, including ancient mounds, metalworking furnaces, caves and shelters, stone tombs of ancient governors of Fars, two group graves from the Parthian era, an exclusive 4-kilometer royal road paved with stones, as well as several other historical sites which will be submerged under water if the dam becomes operational.