Arg-é Bam is a citadel located in Bam, a city in the Kerman Province in the south-eastern part of Iran. This citadel was built entirely out of adobe unbaked clay bricks, and it is often regarded as the largest structure built with this material in the world. In 2003, a powerful earthquake struck the city of Bam, and much of the citadel was destroyed.
The Iranian authorities, with the help of several other countries, have worked to reconstruct the site following that disaster. It has been estimated that the project to restore Arg-é Bam will be completed in 2017.
Bam and its cultural landscape. The ruins of Arg-é Bam are in the background. (UNESCO/CC BY SA 3.0 IGO)
An Achaemenid Fort
No precise archaeological dates are currently available to pinpoint the exact age of Arg-é Bam. However literary sources record that a fort had been built there by the Achaemenids at some point of time between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Some archaeologists have even compared certain features of the citadel to the Achaemenid city of Persepolis to show that the fort was indeed built during the same period.
During the Parthian period the fort was expanded and became a citadel. At the end of the Parthian period, Arg-é Bam was captured by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sassanian Empire. The Sassanians constructed new fortifications and walls.
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