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Great Wall of Gorgan to be Nominated for UNESCO Status

By Maryam Tabeshian

Iran is intending to put up the Great Wall of Gorgan, Asia's second most extended wall, for world registration. However, the plan requires funding which is still far from being compliant.
Part of the Great Wall of Gorgan, northern Iran
Tehran, 13 November 2006 (CHN) -- Great Wall of Gorgan, the most ancient and the longest wall in Iran, will be put up for world registration in UNESCO's list. Based on a decision by members of Cultural Committee of the High Council for Cultural Heritage of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), information on this historic wall will be compiled in a single file to be submitted to UNESCO for registration in its temporary list as the first step toward its world registration.
The Great Wall of Gorgan, otherwise known as Gorgan's Defense Wall, is extended for 200 kilometers in the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea. Archeological evidence suggests that it was built during the Sassanid dynastic era (224-651 AD), although most archeologists date it to a historic period earlier and believe that it was constructed during the Parthian dynastic period (248 BC-AD 224) to protect mainland Iran (former Persia) from invasion from the north. The wall was later restored during the Sassanid era which is why evidence from this historic period abounds in the architecture of the wall.
According to Hamid Omrani, director of Great Wall of Gorgan's Research Center, the unique architecture and overall outlook of the Great Wall of Gorgan are the most significant features it enjoys which show that it has the potentials for being proposed as a world heritage. As the first steps in doing so, not only must the extent of the wall be clearly determined, archeologists need to prepare and submit a topographic map of the wall and its surrounding site. However, Omrani said that lack of funding has considerably slowed down the progress.
"The wall is entirely made of brick and adobe. It consists of military castles, an old dam, brick kilns, a trench, and water channels for directing the water to the trench and kilns as well as the farming lands. Thus the Wall's architectural style, defensive structure, and water management are considered its outstanding traits," added Omrani.
He also noted that introducing a historic monument as a world heritage will certainly help preserving it: "Although the Great Wall of Gorgan has seen irreplaceable damages throughout the centuries, we hope that its world registration could direct attentions to this historic monument to fully protect it."
At the end, Omrani stressed that there are a number of other historic monuments in the northern city of Gorgan which are equally important to gain world recognition.
Comparable to the Great Wall of China, Gorgan's Defensive Wall has a cultural-historic importance and speaks of the rich civilization which once populated the northern regions of present-day Iran. Some archeologists believe that the two historical walls were constructed during the same period of history.
Recently, the extent of the Great Wall of Gorgan was traced in the waters of the Caspian Sea, buried in sediments. Archeologists are determined to continue their quest to find out more about this stunning architectural masterpiece.
Great Wall of Gorgan Reached below Caspian Sea Waters
Iran and Britain to Start Excavations on Gorgan's Wall

... Payvand News - 11/13/06 ... --

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