Iran News ...


8/8/04

Bam's Architectural, Residential Layers to be Explored

Source: Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency

In a bid to incorporate archeological data in the renovation project of the Bam Citadel, ruined last December in a devastating quake which killed over 26,000 people south of Iran, the Grand Archeological Plan of Bam would be adopted in a month.


Photo: Nassrollah Kasraia n

Bam is one of Iran's most ancient residential cities and researchers believe that there has been little research on the exact date of settlement of its inhabitants. "The Grand Plan aims at finding answers to such questions as when people started dwelling in Bam? and what material they used to construct it?" said Eskandar Mokhtari, manager of the Bam Salvage Project.

He mentioned the earthquake, which almost completely ruined the city and its over 2,000-year-old citadel, has provided archeologists with a rare opportunity to study on different architectural and residential layers of Bam.

The Grand Plan consists of three stages: short-term, mid-term and long-term when archeologists deal with exploration, profiling and documentation and detecting different layers, respectively.

Situated in the desert on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau, Bam developed as a crossroads of trade in silk and cotton. Its origins can be traced to the Achaemenid period (6th-4th century BC) and it reached its heyday from the 7th to 11th centuries. Bam grew in an oasis created mainly thanks to an underground water management system (qanāts), which continues to function. The site's main ancient remains are within a fortified citadel area (Arg), which contains 38 watchtowers, Governmental Quarters, and the historic town and its 8th or 9th century mosque, one of the oldest in Iran. This is the most representative example of a fortified medieval town built in vernacular technique using mud layers. As a result of the destruction, archaeologists have discovered new evidence of the history of the place in the Arg itself and in the surrounding territory. This includes remains of ancient settlements and irrigation systems, dating at least to the Parthian-Hellenistic period, 2nd century B.C.

Bam Cultural Landscape represents an exceptional testimony to the development of a trading settlement where various influences met in a desert environment in Central Asia. It bears an exceptional testimony to the use of mud layer technique (Chineh) combined with mud bricks (Khesht). The qanāts further provide an outstanding representation of the interaction of man and nature in a desert environment.

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