Letter to the gathering
of world archeologists in Iran
Dear participants in the February 24th Conference on Tange Bolaghi
On behalf of the International Committee to Save the Archeological Sites of Pasargad Plains, we salute you. Today, you have gathered to report to a nation, impatiently waiting, on what you have found during the last year in Tange Bolaghi, which is planned to be flooded by the Sivand dam. This nation is also awaiting for your opinion about the significance and value of these findings.
In our opinion, you, as renowned specialists in different realms of historical knowledge, cannot possibly approve the destruction of a vast archeological site, with significant historical value. This is against the principals of your callings. Dams, roads and factories could always be constructed but ancient cities, villages, graveyards, caves and workshops are made once and deposited to the hands of history for ever. Their destruction equals to wiping out parts of a nation's memory. On the other hand, the amount of money spent on erecting the Sivand dam could not possibly rationalize the destruction of a part of the capital city of Cyrus the Great, the father of Human Rights. Please note that our Committee has already suggested a solution that could repay the money spent so far: We can keep the Sivand dam "as is" and turn it into a tourist attraction by presenting it as a token of a nation's regards for its historical heritage that now belongs to the whole world.
Your today's gathering and your talks at this conference would not be considered as a routine and ordinary activity. Today, you can either sign the order for destructing a major part of Iran's history or, relying on your professional conscience, could stop this horrendous story to realize. Your words and acts at today's conference will be printed in your curricula and will go down with your names in the annals of history.
Our committee has created an outline of your findings which clearly shows that some of them cannot possibly be removed and transferred to museums. They are, thus, doomed to be exposed to the distinction caused by the Sivand dam. Many thousands of people who have signed our petition and hundreds more who visit this Committee's website are aware of this list.
In addition to the above, we would like to bring another fact to your attention: Just recently, a group of Iranian independent engineers, head by Mr. Kurosh Za`im, have declared that, after examining the most recent aerial and topographical maps of the Pasargad and Bolaghi plains, they have realized that all the technical calculations for the Sivan dam have been based on wrong data and, considering the altitude of Cyrus's mausoleum and comparing it to the height of this dam, it is a fact that flooding the dam to its full capacity will drown this mausoleum too. Are you ready to endorse such probable miscalculations and vote for the flooding of the dam?
Our Committee's members, together with all the people who love Iran and her history, are impatiently waiting to hear the results of this conference and whole-heartedly hope that you would come out of this historical test, walking tall.
With best regards,
On behalf of the International Committee to save the Archeological sites of Pasargad Plains
February 21, 2006