The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Archaeologist
and former member of the Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation (PPRF)
Mohammad-Taqi Ataii gave a series of new details on the amazing discovery of
ancient paint remnants on the Achaemenid royal tombs at Naqsh-e Rustam in
southern Iran’s Fars Province.
discovery was made in 2003 when a group of experts was working on the tombs,
particularly the tomb of Darius the Great in order to clean calcareous layers
caused by rainfall from their surfaces, Ataii told the Persian service of CHN on
operation was carried out by a team led by PPRF archaeologist Hassan Rahsaz
based on a theory proposed by Majid Ayasi. According
to Ataii, no details have previously been published on the discovery.
of all the cuneiform inscriptions at the site have been coloured azure and most
of the bas-reliefs, particularly the Darius the Great bas-relief in his tomb at
Naqsh-e Rustam, had been painted,” Ataii said.
example, Darius’s beard and moustache were azure in the bas-relief. We
previously knew about the use of colours in Achaemenid sites as well as in the
bas-reliefs depicting Darius. On the Darius bas-relief at Persepolis, the entire
beard had been made of lapis lazuli, but unfortunately it was plundered by the
Macedonians,” he explained.
the bas-relief of Naqsh-e Rustam, Darius has black hair. His eyes were red and
framed in black. The lips and shoes are red and various colours were used for
say that some coloured architectural elements of the Naqsh-e Rustam monuments
have great similarities with the colour motifs used for the ancient structures
the corridor of the Darius the Great’s tomb has been built based on a plan,
which is similar to the one used for the corridors of Persepolis, thus we can
restore the corridors by drawing the structures on a paper with the original
colours… The restoration of the colours could help us create a plan from the
corridors and even help us imagine the original appearance of Persepolis,”
2004 to early 2007, when the Sivand Dam began flooding the Bolaghi Valley, which
is home to over 130 important archaeological sites, archaeologists participating
in the rescue excavations discovered several ancient walls covered with a kind
of green paint that had been used on structures in Persepolis.
colours, which had been used on stones during ancient times, were less
resilient. Wind, rainfall, and vibrations can spoil the colours on the
bas-reliefs and the structures of Naqsh-e Rustam,” Ataii noted.
Naqsh-e Rustam perimeter has recently been invaded via the construction of a
nearby railway route. Experts believe that the vibrations caused by passing
trains will cause irreparable damage to the archaeological sites of the region.
team of experts is currently studying the matter to determine how to modify the
railway route. Their final decision will be announced before September 29.
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