& CULTURAL NEWS©
Will Never Drown
(Click to enlarge)
days a widespread rumor is heard among Iranians and culture lovers around
the world that the historical sites of Pasargadae and Persepolis will be
drowned after Sivand dam is put into service. But considering the distance
of the dam and its reservoir perimeters all the rumors are totally
dismissed, and the safety of the world heritage sites guaranteed.
Sivand dam project has been one of the most sensational development
projects in Iran due to cultural heritage issues. After being flooded, it
will drown Bolaghi Gorge with 130 historical remains, however, the damn is
not a threat to the historical sites of Pasargadae and Persepolis.
The rumor of drowning of Pasargadae and Persepolis actually started abroad
Iran, by some opposition groups who want to take political advantages of
the situation by exaggerating and manipulating the reality. They have
claimed that by the dam being flooded, not only the historical site of
Morghab plain will be drowned, but also Cyrus Tomb and Persepolis will be
drowned forever. The claim has caused many serious worries around the
world, initiating even a cyber petition against the flooding.
CHN has talked with some Iranian officials concerned with the situation.
Mohamad Hassan Talebian, director of Parse-Pasargadae Research Center,
explains, “The perimeters of the lake behind the dam at its largest
reach 7 kilometers from Pasargadae site [9 kilometers from Cyrus
Monument], and Persepolis which is ten times farther, is located 70
kilometers from the lake. Therefore, there are no threats to these two
“The humidity changes which will be caused by the flooding of the dam
may be a threat to Pasargadae. But we can not yet be sure about that,”
According to Talebian, after the dam is flooded, humidity levels will be
measured and then, exact remarks can be given on the humidity and its
threats to the site.
Another issue that can help eliminate the worries is the existence of a
big mountain between Sivand dam and Pasargadae, a mountain through which
Bolaghi Gorge passes.
Dr Masud Azarnoosh, director of Iran’s Archaeology Research Center, told
CHN about the mountain. “There is a mountain in between the dam and
Pasargadae which separates the Sivand dam and Pasargadae plain. Bolaghi
Gorge passes through this mountain, and it is the site that will be
drowned with its 130 historical remains. The geology and archaeology
studies indicate that the level of the water in this part is 20 meters
below the Cyrus Tomb, and that the tomb is located 9 kilometers from the
dam. Considering such a distance we can say for sure that there is no
threat that Pasargadae will be drowned,” Azarnoosh said.
Referring to the letters sent to the Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Organization of Iran, he appreciated people’s concern about the issue,
and assured them that considering the 70-kilometer distance of Persepolis
from the dam lake, there are no threats to this historical site.
Regarding the threat of humidity changes for Persepolis, he explained
that, since there is a big mountain between Sivand dam and Persepolis,
most probably the humidity will not cause as much harm to the Persepolis,
but nothing is sure yet.
After all, the bitter part is that after the dam is flooded, the Bolaghi
Gorge with 130 historical remains will be drowned for sure which include
parts of the ancient King’s Road as well.
During the past months eight international teams have been excavating the
site to save some parts of the evidence before the flooding of the dam
which according to Mohamad Beheshti, director of the Research Center of
Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, this is the first
time that eight international groups are working together to save a
historical site of Iran.
“How can a country that is right now holding an exhibition of its
Achaemenid empire in the British Museum be so neglectful of an important
national heritage such as Persepolis and Pasargadae and let them be
drowned,” said Beheshti, expressing his surprise of some people making
rumors without having proper information on the matter.
The 18-kilometer Bolaghi Gorge, located in Fars province, has been
according to some experts the passage way of King’s Road, the most
ancient road of Iran. Some evidence from the cave dwelling period and
settlements dating to the prehistoric times to the Islamic period are
found in the site as well.