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Tomb of Zoroaster and Achaemenid Manor House in Dahan-e Golaman Saved from Submergence


06 September 2006




Dahan-e Golaman Great Tomb.jpg (99417 bytes)

 (Click to enlarge)

LONDON, (CAIS) -- An agreement between the ICHTO, Sistan’s Soil and Water Co. who are responsible for the construction of the Chāh-Nīmeh IV Dam in Sistan va Baluchestan province, is being set that the two historical monuments of the Tomb of Zoroaster (Ārāmgāh-e Zartušt) and the Achaemenid Manor House will be saved from submergence.


“Setting up the boundaries of the historical site of Dahān-e Gholāmān, has meant that Sistan’s Soil and Water Co. will not include the protected area in their artificial lake, which will be created after the inundation of the Char-Nimeh dam”, announced Hassanali Shahraki, director of Sistanan va Baluchestan’ ICHTO (Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation).


“Previously their plan [dam-authority] would have drawn over 30% of Dahan-e Golaman archaeological site; fortunately after numerous meetings with the general-governor of Sistan va Baluchestan a change of plan was imposed”, according to Shahraki.


He concluded “the Chah-Nimeh IV Dam, located 60 km from Zabol will provide drinking water for Zahedan, which has always been one of the main difficulties for its’ inhabitants. Fortunately, with cooperation between the ICHTO, provincial general-governor office and Sistan Soil and Water Co. the problem is being resolved and the historical area will not be submerged, which once was the provincial capital of ancient Sistan.


Dahan-e Gholaman (Slaves’ Opening) is an archaeological site located 72 kilometres from Zabol in north of Zahedan, the modern provincial capital of Sistan va Baluchestan near the border of Iran and what is today known as Afghanistan.


Dahan-e Gholaman was discovered in 1960 by Italian archaeologists and is considered to be the second most important historical monument in the province after the Parthian site of Kuh-e Khwajeh. The city was one of the most important settlements, during the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BCE).


The site is one of the very few known Achaemenid sites measuring 1,500x500 meters, with a religious complex. It consists of buildings set up on high lands, above agricultural lands in order to safeguard against threatening seasonal floods of Hirmand River.


Some 28 ancient monuments have already been identified by archaeologists at the site, including the Zoroastrian great temple and praying centre known as the "the Sacred Building or the Tomb of Zoroaster" with four two-storey watchtowers, situated at the northwest of the site.


Another big monument located to the north of the city includes a central courtyard with several chambers encircled by four multi-pillar verandas. The traces of fire are quite evident on the three platforms standing in the central courtyard. A staircase reached the platforms with a height of a little more than one meter.


The city was eventually buried under a layer of flowing sand caused by a harsh wind blow.




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