13 October 2011
I have never met Mr Charlot from France, but he occasionally sends me photos from Iran, where he visits places that I never visit: Kurangun, Guyum, Qadamgah, Sarab-i Bahram, and Sarab-e Qandil. Last month, he sent me several photos of Gur-e Dokhtar, where an Achaemenid tomb can be seen. The small monument is remarkably similar to the more famous mausoleum of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae, but is interesting in itself.
You can read Mr Charlot’s article here.
24 May 2010
Tomb of Cyrus
I fondly remember my first visit to Pasargadae, the capital of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire. Although it was an amazing idea to be at the place where the great conqueror had actually lived, but the plain itself was what impressed me most. It still does. Although there’s a village next to it, it feels as if the place is terribly empty.
Our photos have been online since 2003. Much has improved since then. The road that made it possible to reach Gate R and Palace S by car, which created vibrations that threatened the monuments, has been removed (I remember a team of Afghan laborers, two summers ago, destroying the pavement with big hammers). Inexpert repairs to the tomb of Cyrus have been reverted, and in general, everything looks better than it used to.
It was about time to update my webpages. So here it is, and here are other links: Gate R, the bridge (small page), the audience hall in Palace S, the residential Palace P, the water works in the garden, the Zendan, the Tall-i Takht, and finally the tomb of Cyrus, with a rare photo of its interior. Plus: a reference to a cuneiform text that may be related to the destruction of the Tall-i Takht in 280. It doesn’t prove much – as always, there’s a lacuna where it shouldn’t be – but at least it’s probably worth a thought.
14 November 2009
Photo montage of a flooded Pasargadae
I already blogged about the recent claims that Cambyses‘ lost army had been found. When I finished my article, I briefly suspected that I had been too harsh in my criticism, and when I found a press release stating that the people who had made the claim were not involved in the project, I initially thought that this was mudslinging among colleagues fighting for a scoop. But it turns out I was too kind: read David Meadows’ article here.
The journalists who swallowed the initial press release, ought to have checked their facts, and the problem is that no one seems to do that any more. We have seen the now notorious Pasargadae Hoax: the Iranian authorities are building a dam in the Sivand (true) and the tomb of Cyrus will be flooded (not true, but you can always make a photo montage to prove a point). We have seen the press releases by Dutch archaeologists. We have seen the outrageous claims made in Israel, where connecting a find to a Biblical person results in a miraculous multiplication of funds.
I know that there are sincere archaeologists, who really do their best to tell the truth. I also know that there are honest journalists. But archaeology is rapidly becoming a suspect discipline.