Photos by Mohsen Tavaro, Mehr News Agency
Bishapur, located north of modern day Kazeroun in Iran's Fars province, is an ancient city from Sassanid Persian Empire (AD 224 to AD 651). Due to lack of proper caring by the officials, weeds have grown by the walls of the ancient ruins threatening this historic city with destruction.
Iran applies for registration of Sassanid city on UNESCO list
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) has recently applied for registration of the ruins of the Sassanid city of Bishapur on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
"It will be an honor for UNESCO to register this significant site," CHTHO Deputy Director Masud Alavian-Sadr told the Persian service of the IRNA on Tuesday.
He said that the CHTHO plans to conduct a new series of archaeological studies on the city, which is located 23 kilometers north of Kazerun in Fars Province.
The organization also intends to improve the view of the site by lighting the ruins of the city.
Little remains of the original buildings of the city. It is composed of a royal section and a general area, which includes residences of ordinary people, a bazaar, a caravansary and a public bathhouse.
However, the city is important since it was one of the main administrative centers during the Sassanid era. Several unique mosaics have been discovered during the various archaeological excavations in the city.
In addition, six bas-reliefs, each of which gives much useful information about the Sassanid dynasty, are located at the ruins of Bishapur.
One of the bas-reliefs depicts Sassanid king Shapur I, who ordered construction of the city in 266. He consolidated and expanded the Sassanid Empire founded by his father, Ardashir I.
It shows him seated on a throne, witnessing a triumph of his army. In the top row, he is flanked by nobles of the court and the lower row contains soldiers who present captives and trophies of victory.
Another bas-relief portrays Bahram, a son of Shapur I. During his father's reign, he governed the province of Atropatene. There is an inscription beside the bas-relief, which originally bore the name of Bahram, although his name was later erased by the Sassanid king Narses.
There is a suggestion that Roman prisoners, captured in the battle between Shapur and Valerian in 260, took part in building the city but only one of buildings shows a Western influence.
The city maintained its importance until the Arabian invasions and the rise of Islam in the second quarter of the seventh century. According to some archaeological excavations, Bishapur became a center of Islamic learning. People continued living in the city until the tenth century, but by then, the decline of the city had already begun.
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