In a collaborative effort, a team of international experts and specialists from Iran' s Parseh and Pasargadae Foundation are to study the effects of the Sivand Dam on the ancient sites around Tang-e Bolaghi and Pasargadae located outside of the area to be covered by the reservoir, the director of the foundation announced.
"The filling of the dam's reservoir will cause many environmental, economic, and cultural changes in the region, and the rise in humidity will damage the ancient structures," Mohammad-Hassan Talebian said.
The Sivand Dam is scheduled to come on stream in March 2006, flooding some very significant ancient sites located in Tang-e Bolaghi, which is situated only four kilometers away from Pasargadae, the first capital of the Achaemenid dynasty (about 550-331 BC) and the residence of Cyrus the Great.
Archaeologists believe that even the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great will be at risk. Pasargadae was registered on UNESCO' s World Heritage List last year.
Teams of Italian, French, Polish, German, Australian, and Japanese archaeologists have been assigned to save 129 ancient sites at Tang-e Bolaghi, which also contains sites from the Neolithic and Paleolithic periods, the early, middle, and late Elamite era (2700-645 BC), and the Sasanid era (224-651 CE).