Saturday, July 03, 2004

Mehr News Agency English - Iran’s Bam Citadel Inscribed on World Heritage List

Mehr News Agency English: "Iran’s Bam Citadel Inscribed on World Heritage List
TEHRAN July 3 (MNA) -- The rich archaeological remains of Iran’s Bam Citadel was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the 28th session of the organization’s World Heritage Committee on Friday in the Chinese city of Suzhou.

Bam Citadel was also inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger. The citadel was seriously damaged in a December 26, 2003 earthquake.

Situated in the desert on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau, Bam Citadel developed as a silk and cotton trade crossroads. Its origins can be traced to the Achaemenid period (6th-4th century B.C.) reaching its heyday from the 7th to 11th centuries.

The citadel contains 38 watchtowers, governmental quarters, and a mosque dating back to 8th or 9th century, one of the oldest in Iran.

Archaeologists have also discovered remains of ancient settlements and irrigation systems, dating at least to the Parthian-Hellenistic period, 2nd century B.C.

It bears an exceptional testimony to the use of the mud layer technique (Chineh) combined with mud bricks (Khesht).

Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Culture, Mounir Bouchenaki, reiterated the commitment of UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura to continue efforts to salvage the ancient citadel.

The ancient site of Pasargadae, the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, had been added to the list during the first round of the session on Thursday.

Persepolis, Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat, Takht-e Suleiman, and Naqsh-e Jahan Square are the other Iranian ancient sites, which have been registered on the list in recent years.

In addition to Bam Citadel, 12 other new cultural sites were also listed by the 21-member World Heritage Committee in this session. This brings to 788 the number of listed sites (611 cultural sites, 154 natural sites and 23 mixed sites).

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