12 restoration workshops underway in earthquake-hit Bam Citadel
TEHRAN – The Director of Bam and its Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has said that 12 restoration workshops are currently underway at Bam Citadel and its premises, which have been brought down to earth due to devastating earthquake on December 26, 2003.
“Currently, 12 restoration workshops, three conservation workshops and eight material production workshops are active in the historic Bam Citadel,” Mohsen Qasemi said on Thursday.
Additionally, restorers and cultural heritage experts are working on the Mir Akbar Mansion, government stables, stable tower, fence and traditional ice storage, CHTN reported.
The Bam property and its cultural landscape are located at the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau, near the Pakistani border. The origins of the citadel of Bam (“Arg-e Bam”) date back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. The heyday of the citadel was from the 7th to the 11th century, being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments.
The citadel, which contains the governor’s quarters and the walled residential area, forms the center of a vast cultural landscape, marked by a series of forts and citadels, now in ruins. The existence of life in the oasis was based on the underground irrigation canals, the qantas, of which Bam has preserved some of the first evidence in Iran and which continue to function until today.
According to UNESCO, Arg-e Bam is the most representative example of a medieval walled city built using a vernacular technique using layers of mud (Chineh), sun-dried mud bricks (khesht) and vaulted structures and domed.
Bam and its cultural landscape represent an outstanding example of an ancient fortified settlement that developed around the central Iranian plateau and is an exceptional testimony to the development of a trading settlement in the desert environment of the Central Asian region. This impressive construction undoubtedly represents the high point and is the most significant achievement of its kind not only in the Bam region but also in a much wider cultural region of Western Asia.
The cultural landscape of Bam is an important representation of the interaction between man and nature and retains a rich resource of ancient canals, settlements and forts as landmarks and tangible evidence of the evolution of the region.