Great Wall of Gorgan to be Nominated for UNESCO Status
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.
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
"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
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
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
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