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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great Requires Constant Monitoring of Moisture


05 August 2008



LONDON, (CAIS) -- The Parseh and Pasargadae Research Foundation director has called for constant vigilance against soil moisture, which is threatening the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae.


The foundation has prepared a plan to constantly monitor the soil moisture at the site in the southern province of Fars, Mohammad-Hassan Talebian told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday.


The plan will be approved and then financed by the Research Centre of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organisation (RCCTHO), he added.


“According to the plan, a hygrometer and recording instruments would be installed at the site to monitor the moisture level of the soil beneath the tomb’s base,” Talebian explained.


“The device is not cheap and it’s not adequate in itself. A number of comprehensive studies also need to be carried out by international experts,” he noted.


Back in 2005, many experts warned that the construction of the Sivand Dam, completed in early 2007, created the moisture problem. Unfortunately, the reservoir formed by the dam, located in the Bolaghi Valley, which begins about four kilometres from Pasargadae, has already destroyed large number of pre-Islamic archaeological sites.


In addition, some experts had previously said that the increased humidity caused by the large lake could cause damage to Pasargadae, which is also home to two of Cyrus the Great’s palaces as well as his resting place and other Achaemenid dynastic era structures.


Fortunately due to low rainfall in the area, the filling of the dam has not been completed according to Islamic regime’s plan of destruction of Pasargadae.


However Talebian claimed that the natural underground water table levels have always been high in the Pasargadae region. He stated the condition was mentioned in reports by the L'Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente (ISMEO) that had made some excavations and restorations on the site and at Persepolis before Iran's 1979 Revolution.


“A state of balance has been achieved between nature and all sites at Pasargadae. However, many efforts should be made to set up a comprehensive scientific system to monitor environmental conditions 24 hours a day,” Talebian claimed.


Talebian interview and the claim that the humidity level at Pasargadae is a normal condition seems to be politically motivated and his claims cannot be anything but a pressure from ICHTO to affirm last month's Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei’s basless claims.






Extracted From/Source: Mehr News [*] and edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav




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