Excavations shed new light on Achaemenid water structure

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TEHRAN – A team of Iranian archaeologists recently completed an archaeological campaign on an aquatic structure from the Achaemenid period (circa 550-330 BC), CHTN reported on Wednesday.

Recent archaeological excavations of the Didegan Dam, also known as the Bostan Khani Dam, have led to the discovery of other river channels as well as the water distribution of the dam, said Iranian archaeologist Hamidreza Karami .

This channel, whose walls and floor are entirely of stone, has a width of 70 centimeters and a height of 125 centimeters, and in addition to transferring water from the reservoir to the diffuser, also deposited sediments in the reservoir, has he noted.

This work, which is 70 meters long, served the low plains of the dam to the plain of Pasargadae and Sivand and Persepolis for 200 years during the Achaemenid period, he added.

Last March, the archaeologist announced that seasons of archaeological excavations on the Didegan Dam had revealed valuable secrets and information regarding dam engineering and water control management that were practiced in Iran at the time. Achaemenid period.

“Although much of this beloved structure was destroyed by flooding and human looting, we were able to gain insight into the craftsmanship and technology adopted to build architectural structures related to dams at that time,” he explained.

“In addition, we carefully determined the location and specifications of our archaeological trenches to obtain as much information as possible.”

Referring to the features and architecture of the dam, he noted, “The style of architecture and stone carving reflects the architectural traditions of the early Achaemenid period, particularly the period of the Achaemenid king Darius. [the Great].”

According to the archaeologist, the embankment dam is still a source of inspiration for modern architects and engineers.

“The embankment dams of the Achaemenid era were built with such knowledge, extent and durability that after 25 centuries, [modern] earth dams are still built according to the Achaemenid engineering model.

Karami has previously described the Bostan Khani Dam in southern Iran as a “masterpiece” of architecture and water management in Achaemenid-era Iran. “So far [valuable evidence of the] architectural structure was obtained to recognize and realize the structure of the dam and its method of construction.

The expert considered the Bostan Khani dam to be the largest of its kind from the Achaemenid period identified so far.

Karami explained that waterways and water transport networks are another part of their water management engineering, which is designed to bring water to the most remote areas of the region possible.

“Excavations and surveys of the Bostan Khani Dam can increase our knowledge and understanding of the methods and techniques of dam construction and architectural structure currently practiced.”

In late January, a cultural heritage protection team discovered a stone arched tunnel near an Achaemenid embankment dam on the Marvdasht plain in Fars province.

Achaemenid [Persian] Empire was the largest and most enduring empire of its time. The empire stretched from Ethiopia to Egypt, via Greece, Anatolia (modern Turkey), Central Asia and India.

Building activity was significant during the height of the empire, and of the many Achaemenid capitals, the ruins of Pasargadae and Persepolis are probably the most notable. The Achaemenid carved reliefs and a large number of smaller art objects display a remarkably unified style for the time. Metalwork, particularly in gold, was highly developed and a variety of carefully executed examples survive.

The embankment dam has been included in the national heritage list.

ABU/MG

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