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Chahar-Nimeh Dam Modified to Remove the Threat from Achaemenid' Dahaneh Gholaman


05 June 2007




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LONDON, (CAIS) -- Observing the request of governor of Sistan va Baluchestan province, southeastern Iran, for saving the Achaemenid city of Dahaneh Gholaman (Dahāné Gholāmān), authorities of the dam have accepted to move Chahar-Nimeh (Chahār-Nimé) dam 250 meters from its origin location. 


Announcing this news, Alireza Khosravi, head of Burnt City and Dahaneh Gholaman Research Centre described this decision as a unique action in history of Iran’s cultural heritage. “In a meeting which was held with presence of the Governor of Sistan va Baluchestan province as well as authorities of Chahar-Nimeh Dam, emphasizing the importance of this dam for fulfilling the needs of Sistan va Baluchestan’s residence, the governor asked for exploiting the dam without causing any harm to Dahaneh Gholaman Achaemenid city by removing the dam,” explained Khosravi.


Prior to this, some 30 years ago, construction of three halves of the four halves of Chahar-Nimeh Dam resulted in submerging some parts of Dahaneh Gholaman city.


The site is located two kilometres from Qal'e-No village and about 44 kilometres from Zabol, the capital city of Sistan, near the border of Iran and Afghanistan. Dahaneh Gholaman (Slaves’ Opening) was one of the prominent cities during Achaemenid dynastic era (550-330 BCE) which ranked in importance after Persepolis, Susa and Sardis. 


Dahaneh Gholaman measuring 1500x500 meters was discovered in 1960 by Italian archaeologists and it is one of the very few known Achaemenid sites with a religious complex. It consists of buildings set up on high lands, above agricultural lands, so that the houses would be protected against the threatening seasonal floods of Hirmand River. 


Conducting five seasons of archaeological excavations in this historical site, archaeologists have succeeded in identifying some 28 ancient monuments, 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.


Studies in the 1960s indicated that the residents abandoned the city about 200 years after it was founded and may have relocated to further east (nowadays Pakistan). However, the reason for the planned abandonment of Dahaneh Gholaman is still a mystery.


Archaeologists have surmised that the city was abandoned due to an important political decision, a strong sandstorm, or because the river which supplied water for the inhabitants ran dry. According to Dr Mansur Sajjadi, the best hypothesis to explain the sudden migration is that the river ran dry. 


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




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




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