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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Railway Bridge Construction Project Near Naqsh-e Rostam Cancelled


01 March 2009



LONDON, (CAIS) -- A railway bridge construction project, which was threatening the Achaemenid dynastic site of Naqsh-e Rostam in Iran’s southern province of Fars, has finally been cancelled, the Persian service of CHN reported on Saturday


A series of efforts were made by public, international media, cultural organisations forced the officials responsible for the ancient site including the Parsa and Pasargadae Research Foundation (PPRF) and the Fars Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department (FCHHT) to pressurise the officials of the Shiraz-Esfahan railway line to cancel the project.


If the bridge, which was to cross a road at a distance of one kilometre from Naqsh-e Rostam, were to become operational, the construction would spoil the historical landscape of the site.


The PPRF proposed construction of a tunnel or installation of crossing gates, if the highway and railway line cross at track level, PPRF director Mohammad-Hassan Talebian told CHN.


“Construction of the tunnel will be supervised by a team of archaeologists after a comprehensive geophysical study, if the option is chosen,” he said.


In 2006, the railway line threatened Naqsh-e Rostam, home to the tombs of the Achaemenid dynasty emperors, including Darius the Great, his son Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, and Darius II, and several other sites dating back to the Elamite, Parthian and Sasanian dynastic eras.


The railway right-of-way was to pass at a distance of about 350 meters from Naqsh-e Rostam. The distance was increased to over one kilometre following the objections raised by public and the cultural organisations.


However, the threat still remains to another ancient site nearby.


The construction of the Shiraz-Esfahan railway line now imperils the ancient strata of the Rahmatabad Tappeh.


The railway line is to pass at a distance of 10 meters from the Rahmatabad Tappeh and archaeologists believe that the constant vibration from passing trains would eventually damage the ancient strata and artefacts buried in the mound.


Excavations on the Rahmatabad Tappeh in 2006 led to the discovery of a large number of ancient shards and kilns, and an important industrial site dating back to the 5th millennium BCE.


Experts believe that the ancient strata and the kilns buried under earth at the mound will be destroyed if the railway line is allowed to pass close to the site.






Extracted From/Source: Mehr News  [*]




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