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Fountains of Cyrus the Great' Paradise to Regain their Ancient Glories


15 November 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- A great part of the fountains of Pasargadae’ imperial garden denoted to Cyrus the Great, founder of the the second Iranian dynasty, the Achaemenids in 550 BCE have been revived by the efforts of Pars-e Pasargadae Research Center.


“The fountains of the imperial garden which are considered part of the historical evidence of Pasargadae world heritage site were identified while mowing the lawn in the area. Currently, more than 110 meters of these fountains have been restored,” said Hassan Rahsaz, stone restoration expert and head of restoration team to renovate Pasargadae’ stone monuments.


“Different parts of the fountains and their dovetail joints have been identified by restoration experts. The fountains have been reconstructed in their original place according to their Achaemenid style,” added Rahsaz.


According to Rahsaz, the restoration of the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is also still continuing. Commenting on the restoration of dovetail joints of Cyrus’ tomb, Rahsaz noted: “The Tomb’s dovetail joints have been revived using melted lead and this way the stones of the mausoleum will be placed back in their original place.”


Since the first millennium BCE, the garden has been an integral part of Iranian architecture, be it imperial or vernacular. In addition to written historical references, archaeological evidence of Achaemenid gardens exists at Pasargadae, Persepolis, Susa, and other sites.


The Achaemenid dynasty had a keen interest in horticulture and agriculture. Their administration greatly encouraged the efforts of the satrapies which once was stretched from China to Libya, toward innovative practices in agronomy, arboriculture, and irrigation. Numerous varieties of plants were introduced throughout the empire. In Iranian culture, aside from the practical aspects of the garden and its sensual pleasures, the imperial gardens also incorporated political, philosophical, and religious symbolism. The idea of the king creating a fertile garden out of barren land, bringing symmetry and order out of chaos, and duplicating the divine paradise on earth, constituted a powerful statement symbolizing authority, fertility, and legitimacy.


What made gardens special during the Achaemenid dynasty was that for the first time the garden became not only an integral part of the architecture, but was also the focus of it. Henceforth gardens were an integral part of Iranian culture. Successive generations of European and Asian monarchs and garden lovers copied the concept and design of Persian (Paradise) gardens.

The earliest gardens on the Iranian plateau associated with the Achaemenids are located at Pasargadae, the imperial park residence of Cyrus the Great (d. 530 BCE). The imperial palaces at Pasargadae were conceived and constructed as a series of palaces and pavilions placed among geometrically designed gardens, parterres, and meticulously hewn and dressed stone water-courses, set in a large formal park containing various flora and fauna. Recent studies suggest that this garden may have been the model for the subsequent chahârbâgh (q.v.) and hašt behešt.

From the time of the Achaemenid empire the idea of an earthly paradise spread to the literature and languages of other cultures. The Avestan word pairidaêza-, Aryan also known as Old Persian *paridaida-, Median *paridaiza- (walled-around, i.e., a walled garden), was transliterated into Greek paradeisoi, then rendered into the Latin paradisus, and from there entered into European languages, i.e., French paradis, and English paradise. The word entered Semitic languages as well: Akkadian pardesu, Hebrew pardes, and Arabic ferdaws. 


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Extracted From/Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

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, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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