Rouhi, Jafar (2017) Conservation and Restoration of Adobe Architectural Heritage of Bam Citadel (Iran), Affected by the 26 December 2003 Bam Earthquake: Problems and Issues. [Tesi di dottorato]

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Item Type: Tesi di dottorato
Resource language: English
Title: Conservation and Restoration of Adobe Architectural Heritage of Bam Citadel (Iran), Affected by the 26 December 2003 Bam Earthquake: Problems and Issues
Date: 7 April 2017
Number of Pages: 556
Institution: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Department: Architettura
Dottorato: Architettura
Ciclo di dottorato: 29
Coordinatore del Corso di dottorato:
Marino, Bianca GioiaUNSPECIFIED
Date: 7 April 2017
Number of Pages: 556
Keywords: Adobe-Mud Brick Structures, Bam Citadel, 2003 Bam Earthquake, Seismic Retrofitting
Settori scientifico-disciplinari del MIUR: Area 08 - Ingegneria civile e Architettura > ICAR/19 - Restauro
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2017 15:13
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 13:10

Collection description

The arguments of “Bam city” and “Bam and its Cultural Landscape” after the 2003 Bam earthquake have been the objects of debates in several studies and international conferences over the last two decades. As a brief explanation, the Citadel of Bam (Arg-e Bam) as an outstanding example of a fortified medieval town is located in the hot and dry weather condition on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. This ancient Iranian town is recognized as the largest extant adobe-mud brick complex in the world, which has kept its traditional architecture in desert environment not only up to the day they were severely damaged by the Dec 26, 2003 Bam earthquake, but even now. Since Ban region benefited from abundant underground water and since the Citadel of Bam has withstood intrusion during centuries for its strategic location in the Silk Road, the region of Bam can be considered as one of the first foci for the organization of a civilization which originated and expanded in a multicultural society involving the different religions such as Zoroastrian, Jewish, Islamic, Christian, etc. Based on the available evidences and ruins left in Bam Citadel, it can be perceived that the most of the symbolic features of the traditional buildings have been inspired by natural and cultural needs and the occupants’ requirements. According to UNESCO World Heritage Committee, the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property and the International Council on Monuments, Iran is identified as the tenth country with the richest cultural and historical offerings to visitors. In spite of this global ranking, unfortunately, this country is located in the area where earthquakes are most frequent; several strong earthquakes during recent and historical times have had destroyed the different regions of the country, and the country will probably continue to be threatened with disastrous earthquakes in the near future. In this regard, the country’s cultural heritage properties are at risk of seismic destruction, and the loss of these outstanding properties would negatively affect their cultural importance as sources of information from the past and symbols of identity, as well as their socio-economic values at local, national, and international levels. In Iran, adobe architectural heritage is rich and complex. As a ubiquitous form of construction, adobe architecture appears in many constructions, from monuments to dwellings in historic fabric of cities. In this sense, from the ancient times, adobe materials have extensively been used for the construction of mansions, urban houses, citadels, fortifications, defensive walls, towers etc. They have also been widely used in religious buildings, like fire temples and mosques. However, several of these types of monuments are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list such as Tchogha Zanbil (1275-1240 BC), Takht-e Soleyman (3rd to 7th centuries), Shahr-i Sokhta (founded around 3200 BC) and Bam Citadel (6th to 4th centuries BC). In addition to those mentioned World Cultural Heritage, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourist Organization (ICHHTO) protects hundreds of adobe monuments throughout the country,especially in provinces located in the central Iranian high plateau, such as Kerman, Esfahan, Fars, Yazd, Semnan, etc. These cities are not only celebrated for their diversity of styles and influences, but also for the continuity of their traditions on new building practices. Every adobe monument in Iran is one of a steadily detracting number of country’s cultural heritage that is significantly vulnerable to urban development and natural hazards, these two main factors are cited as being responsible for the demolition of the remained historic adobe structures in the country. Therefore, the preservation of the country’s few remained historic adobe structures from the aforementioned causes of destruction is imperatively essential. As a worrisome situation, since Iran is an earthquake prone country in the world, these types of structures pertaining to their antiquity and vulnerability, commonly in earthquake are presenting asthenic behavior during moderate to strong ground motions. Therefore, this threatens their existence, as the Dec 26, 2003 Bam earthquake bears ample testimony to this fact. In this earthquake, “Bam Citadel” as the largest adobe complex in the world, listed by UNESCO as a part of the World Heritage Site of “Bam and its Cultural Landscape” was exposed to sever destruction. Nowadays the survival of the Iranian historic adobe structures are threatened by several external factors that can be related to human effects, biological effects, inherent effects and natural effects, each of which doubled with lack of an appropriate conservation policy can be destructive during an earthquake. In recent decades, similar events as that happened in the city of Bam have indicated that lack of adequate attention, unsuitable attitude and insufficient mobility both in policy and scientific and research activities will contributed to the continuation of such events. In the present research, the prevailing trend is to attempt to preserve, so far as possible, the Iranian adobe cultural heritage as they have undeniable social, cultural, historical, economical values. However, to achieve the above-mentioned objectives and to show the deficiencies and weakness of Iranian cultural heritage policy from different points of view, as a result, entails the necessity for conducting a study on one seismically endangered Iranian case. Therefore, in this thesis the ancient city of Bam “Bam Citadel” is recognized as a suitable case to make a conceive-known and close scrutiny about factors affecting on severity of seismic damages on adobe monuments of the Citadel of Bam. However, this thesis critically assesses the significance of failure, criteria, theories and strategies of conservation and restoration approaches in Iran. In addition, based on international charters, recommendations and the activities that have been performed in this arena, it shares some up-to-date technical solutions, suggestions and required remedies to unlock a new aperture for well-preservation of the country’s culturally or historically adobe architectural heritage from further deterioration, and especially against the next unpredictable earthquakes. Therefore, the thesis intends hopefully to provide a clear framework, concerning several methodologies to implement in order to safeguard the Iranian adobe monuments. Finally, since the Bam Citadel is a part of “Bam and its Cultural Landscape”, some recommendations are proposed for future development of Bam site.


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