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Archaeologists Return to Sasanian City Threatened by Salman-e Farsi Dam


06 February 2008




LONDON, (CAIS) -- A team of archaeologists have recently returned to the Sasanian city site in the future location of the reservoir of the Salman-e Farsi Dam in southern Iran’s Fars Province.


They plan to commence a new phase of studies at the location to research the transition from the Sasanian dynastic era (224-651 CE) to the post-Sasanian period (651-861 CE).


Whilst undertaking excavations in April 2007, a team led by Alireza Jafari-Zand discovered the ruins of structures dating back to the post-Sasanian era which had been built on the site’s Sasanian strata.


The 360-hectare city also contains remains of buildings dating back to the Post-Achaemenid era (330-248 BCE).


The Sasanian city will be entirely submerged if the Islamic regime’s Fars Regional Water Company begins filling the dam.


The new phase of excavations has commenced with the digging of a 1X1.5-meter trench near an Emamzadeh -- located northeast of the city, Jafari-Zand told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday. “Strata from the Sasanian and post-Sasanian eras can be observed in the trench. It seems that Muslims began inhabiting this part of the city,” he added.


“The studies indicate that the Sasanians used stone and gypsum in their buildings whilst Muslims used mud bricks,” Jafari-Zand explained.


The team has recently discovered the ruins of a round structure, which experts surmise to have once been a minaret. If they can prove this supposition to be true, it will be one of the earliest known minarets built by Iranians after the invasion of Iran by Arab-Moslems in the middle of 7th century.


The team had previously discovered many ancient urban structures including several residential areas, a castle, a bazaar and a Zoroastrian fire temple.


The Zoroastrian fire temple is located in such a way that all the streets of the Sasanian city lead towards it.


“This discovery shows that from the distant past Iranians constructed holy places in the central areas of their cities,” Jafari-Zand said.


In 1970, the region had been jolted by a massive earthquake, which can be compared to one which devastated Bam in southern Iran in 2003. The earthquake caused serious damage to the archaeological strata which has made it difficult for the team to carry out their research work.


The Islamic Republic’s Regional Water Company had begun filling the reservoir of the dam in mid-March 2007. However, the process was stopped following the protest of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO). Afterwards, the team was assigned to carry out rescue excavations in the region.


Sasanian city behind the Salam-e Farsi dam is another victim of unleashed dam construction project in Islamic Iran. Evidently, there is an iron will in to destroy every trace of the Iran’s pre-Islamic past through dam construction projects, which are considered a seminal part of the allegedly process of industrialisation and modernisation and regularly hyped by Islamic regime in Tehran. The most infamous of all is Sivand Dam in Bolaghi Valley, Fars province, which can be taken as the most sensational example.


The project was evoked strong objections from Iranian and the international communities. In 2003, the United Nations issued an appeal for world archaeologists to rush to the area to unearth and record the historical remains before the dam’s reservoir is filled – large groups of Archaeologists and experts from Iran and across the globe have become engaged in an emergency salvation project, making it the biggest salvation project ever in the history of Iran’s Archaeological activities.


Finally in April 2007, Mahmood Ahmadinejad the Islamic regime's president attended at the site and ordered its immediate inundation, which the submergence of 137 archaeological including a section of the Achaemenid Imperial’s Road (Rāh-e Šāhī) and an Achaemenid palace, denoted to Darius the Great was began.






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Extracted From/Source*: Mehr News -- Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav


*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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