The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
LONDON, (CAIS) -- Up to now, Islamic Republic’s Ministry of Energy (IRME) has already forced to postpone inundation of Sivand Dam for 15 months due to requests by Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and cultural enthusiasts. Yet according to Rasoul Zargar, deputy director of IRME in water affairs, announced he is ready to postpone the flooding of the dam further if archaeologists still see it necessity to continue their excavations in the historic site of Bolaghi Valley.
“The Ministry of Energy is waiting to receive a full report from the outcome of archaeological excavations in Bolaghi Valley in order to plan inundation of Sivand Dam; and if the cultural heritage experts announce that the excavations in Bolaghi Valley and other historical sites in the vicinity of Sivand Dam should still continue, the Ministry would be ready to once cooperate with ICHTO by postponing the date of Sivand Dam inundation,” said Zargar.
He further claimed that hydrologic and ecologic studies show that the humidity caused by inundation of the Dam would be of no threat to the historic sites in the surrounding area where the Dam is constructed. Nevertheless, in order to predict possible future consequences of Dam inauguration at Bolaghi Valley, Zargar said that the Ministry has set some equipment in the area to constantly control the humidity. However, none of the hydrologic and ecologic reports that he claimed were made available to the experts.
A meeting will be held on 20th of January 2007 at Tehran’s Tarbiat Modares University during which Iranian cultural heritage experts will talk about some of the major archaeological achievements in historical sites that are located in the vicinity of Sivand Dam in Fars province. The meeting will be followed by another one between authorities of ICHTO and Ministry of Energy to decide on the final date of Sivand Dam inundation.
In an earlier statement, Taha Hashemi, director of ICHTO’s Archaeology Research Centre had also announced that any decision regarding Sivand Dam and its inundation will be made upon the decision of archaeologists.
Valley is a historic site located 4 kilometres from the world heritage site of
Pasargadae. Construction of the Sivand Dam in this region is a great threat to
both cultural and natural heritage of Fars. Until December 2006, a large number of Iranian
and foreign archaeologists were engaged with the salvation project to save the
remaining historic evidence in the region before inauguration of the Dam.
More than 130 historic sites, large numbers of clay vessels, human skeletons and other evidence of human settlement dated as far back as the eighth millennium BCE, 6000-year-old clay kilns, and most strikingly, the palace of the Achaemenid Emperor, Darius the Great (549-486 BCE) have so far been discovered at the historic site of Bolaghi Valley during an international attempt to save and record as much as possible the historical data, before being submerged once the Sivand Dam is inundated.
According to some experts, this is the first time that Islamic Republic shows some leniency towards Iranian heritage. Nevertheless, this is also not the first time that Islamic Regime's authority promised something, and has remained hanging for want of visible action.
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