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Cultural Heritage's Triumph in the Naqsh-e Rostam Railway Case, Could be the Beginning of many Victories


06 December 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- It seems for the first time cultural heritage has won out over the so-called construction projects as officials have been forced to change the path of the railroad that had threatened the ancient site of Naqsh-e Rustam in Fars Province.


An embankment spoiling the landscape of the pre-Islamic site of Naqsh-e Rustam was constructed for the railway track about 350 meters from the monument.


Experts had said that the rumbling of the trains would damage the monuments at Naqsh-e Rustam in the future and would cause Kaaba of Zoroaster to collapse in less than ten years if the railroad became operational.


Naqsh-e Rustam is important since the tombs of Achaemenid Emperors such as Darius the Great, and his son Xerxes I are carved into the solid rock. The site also contains remnants of the Parthian and Sasanian dynastic eras as well as Elamite.


In addition, experts had said that the railway project could have caused Persepolis to be added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger since Naqsh-e Rustam is located on the perimeter of Persepolis.


Inexplicably, construction projects have become the most serious threats to Iran’s ancient sites and cultural heritage over the past few years.


The following cases illustrate this point:


* The ICHTO is currently involved in a legal dispute with the Esfahan Municipality on the Jahan-Nama Tower, which has been built near Naqsh-e Jahan Square and its complex of monuments from the Safavid era.


The Jahan-Nama Tower spoils the horizontal view of Naqsh-e Jahan Square, which was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 after the registration of Persepolis. Therefore, UNESCO has called on the CHTO to modify the tower before February 1, 2007. Otherwise, the square will be added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.


* The Sivand Dam will flood a large section of the Bolaghi Valley in Fars Province, which is home to over 130 archaeological sites dating from prehistoric periods to the Sasanian dynastic era. The Sivand Dam’s reservoir was scheduled to be filled in early December, but the Bolaghi Valley has been given a brief reprieve to give experts more time to conduct archaeological excavations and research.


* The Karun-3 Dam, which came on stream in November 2004, devoured many ancient sites and artifacts dating back to the Elamite era, the Stone Age, and the Epipaleolithic period (20,000-10,000 BCE) in the Izeh region of Khuzestan Province.


* The Sussan Plain, where many Elamite, Parthian, Achaemenid, and Sasanian dynastic era sites are located, will be submerged by the Karun-2 Dam in the Izeh region, Khuzestan Province.


* A plaster company’s frequent blasts are the main reason for the damage to the Sasanian dynasty Da va Dokhtar Castle in Ramhormoz, Khuzestan Province. The operations had been stopped for a time by Ramhormoz judicial officials, but shortly afterwards the company resumed its activities near the ancient site. 


* Over 40 sites in Fars Province from the Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian, Sasanian, and early post-Sasanian eras will be flooded by the Mullah Sadra Dam, whose reservoir is currently being filled, and two other dams currently under construction, the Salman-e Farsi and Marvast dams.


* The reservoir of a dam under construction near Ramhormoz in Khuzestan province will submerge the 1700-year-old Sasanian era Jareh Dam. Archaeologists recently lost hope of saving the ancient dam when they realized the relocation proposal was not feasible.


* The 6000-year-old Kul-Tappeh site in East Azarbaijan province is being submerged as the operators of the Sahand Dam started filling the reservoir last May.


* A total of 16 historic sites will be submerged by a dam currently under construction on the Pol-Rud River near the city of Rudsar in the northern province of Gilan.


* The construction of the Gilan-e Gharb Dam is threatening a number of ancient sites dating back to the first millennium BCE in Kermanshah Province.


* The Shian Dam, which is scheduled to come on stream in Kermanshah Province in 2007, will flood one of the earliest settlements in the region, which dates back to about 2400 BCE, and a great number of historic and ancient sites from the Parthian to the early post-Sasanian eras.


* Road construction and railroad development are threatening the 6000-year-old Yaqut-Tappeh mound near Behshahr in Mazandaran Province.


The decision was music to the ears of Iranian cultural heritage lovers, although there is a long way to go before the decision is fully implemented.



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Extracted From/Source: Mehr News

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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