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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Pasargadae and Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in Danger of Destruction


17 June 2008



By Shapur Suren-Pahlav


LONDON, (CAIS) -- Cracks have started to appear on the stonework of the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in the historical site of Pasargadae, thanks to an all time high level of humidity. 


According to Amir-Teimur Khosravi the Mayor of Pasargadae, "the level of humidity near the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is so high that none of the Pasargadae's residents have ever experienced it before. There is constant flow of damp and humidity smells to the Pasargadae plains coming from Bolaghi Valley. In the Southwest section of the mausoleum which is considered the entrance to the archaeological site, the subterranean waters have surfaced and caused crakes to appear on the stonework.”

“Pasargadae has always been renowned for its clean and pleasant weather, but now as the result of high levels of humidity produced from [the artificial lake behind] the Sivand dam, the area suffers from a sultry condition”, said Khosravi.

Khosravi has warned “the subterranean waters have filled the Pasargadae’s terraces and in some sections water has even been surfaced. The hygrometer installed near the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is also confirms the high level of humidity in the area.”

The perimeters of the artificial lake behind the Sivand dam at its largest reach is 7 kilometres from Pasargadae site, 9 kilometres from the mausoleum of the Cyrus the Great and nearly 70 kilometres from Persepolis.

The controversy of the Sivand dam has highlighted the bitter struggle between the theocratic regime in power and the Iranian nation and their national heritage. 

Since the initial phase of Sivand Dam construction, the project evoked strong objections from large groups of Iranian archaeologists and experts across the globe including CAIS, whom have warned about the dangers of Sivand dam to the Pasargadae historical site after its inundation, which the Islamic regime’s officials and some of their puppet-archaeologists have rejected all the given warnings. However, 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 Iranian archaeology. Finally in April 2007, Mahmood Ahmadinejad the Islamic regime's president attended the site and ordered its immediate inundation, which the submergence of 137 archaeological sites including a section of the Achaemenid Imperial’s Road (Rāh-e Šāhī) and an Achaemenid palace, denoted to Darius the Great began. 

Back then Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (ICHTO) and the regime’s officials persistently claimed that the Sivand Dam would not pose any threat to the ancient site, and in case of any future threat the Sivand dam would be decommissioned immediately. Now a year later the threats have become more apparent and not only the dam has not been decommissioned, but also the filling of the dam’s reservoir continues to this date. 

The experts now have warned again if the humidity level continues to raise in the area the damages to the ancient site will become irreversible, therefore, the only solution is to decommission the dam immediately, as the regime’s leaders have promised and dry the artificial lake formed behind the Sivand Dam. Nevertheless, this will not happen since the Islamic regime’s ulterior motive in building Sivand Dam so close to the Pasargadae was to intentionally destroy the pre-Islamic sites in the area particularly the mausoleum of “the Father of Iranian Nation”.

Iran’s pre-Islamic past and Iranians’ non-Islamic-national-identity and heritage have always been the subjects of abhorrence for the clerics. This diabolical plot by Ayatollahs in Tehran was set in motion in 1979 to destroy and erase all pre-Islamic Iranian past from the consciousness of the Iranian nation as part of their de-Iranianisation campaign.

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