Irano-German team to monitor Bisotoun
Bisotoun bas-relief, Kermanshah, Iran
A team of Iranian and German experts is to monitor the ancient site of Bisotoun in western Iran to find the best restoration and protection methods for the Achaemenid structure.
The 18-month project is aimed at improving the restoration process and protecting the ancient site from further damages.
“The team will use a 3D laser scanner to pinpoint existing damages,” said Director of Bisotoun Center Hassan Ra'ei.
Scanning will enable experts to conduct a supplementary study on the site's inscriptions and make a replica of the bas-relief, he added.
Mount Bisotoun is one of the main tourist attractions in Iran's western Kermanshah Province, best known for its multi-lingual inscription which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006.
The inscription gives a portrayal of the Achaemenid King Darius I holding a bow, as a sign of sovereignty, and treading on the chest of a figure lying on his back before him.
The bas-relief is surrounded by inscriptions telling the story of the battles Darius waged in 521-520 BCE in Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian.
British army officer Henry Rawlinson had the hieroglyph transcribed between 1835 and 1843. The inscription is approximately 15 meters tall by 25 meters wide, and is located 100 meters up a limestone cliff from an ancient road that connected the capitals of Babylonia and Media.
According to Ra'ei, tectonic pressures have caused a number of cracks in the rock which bears the inscriptions and the bas-relief, Mehr news agency reported.
He also identified rainfalls as the main threatening element, saying, “The karstic structure of the rock allows rain to seep easily through the cracks and gaps.”