UNESCO heritage sites of the world.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

Friday, January 20, 2012 1 Comment so far
The 65m-tall Minaret of Jam is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century. Covered in elaborate brickwork with a blue tile inscription at the top, it is noteworthy for the quality of its architecture and decoration, which represent the culmination of an architectural and artistic tradition in this region. Its impact is heightened by its dramatic setting, a deep river valley between towering mountains in the heart of the Ghur province.

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Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

At 1,900 m above sea level and far from any town, the Minaret of Jam rises within a rugged valley along the Hari-rud River at its junction with the river Jam around 215km-east of Herat. Rising to 65m from a 9m diameter octagonal base, its four superimposed, tapering cylindrical shafts are constructed from fired bricks. The Minaret is completely covered with geometric decoration in relief enhanced with a Kufic inscription in turquoise tiles. Built in 1194 by the great Ghurid Sultan Ghiyas-od-din (1153-1203), its emplacement probably marks the site of the ancient city of Firuzkuh, believed to have been the summer capital of the Ghurid dynasty. Surrounding remains include a group of stones with Hebrew inscriptions from the 11th to 12th centuries on the Kushkak hill, and vestiges of castles and towers of the Ghurid settlements on the banks of the Hari River as well as to the east of the Minaret.

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The Minaret of Jam is one of the few well-preserved monuments representing the exceptional artistic creativity and mastery of structural engineering of the time. Its architecture and ornamentation are outstanding from the point of view of art history, fusing together elements from earlier developments in the region in an exceptional way and exerting a strong influence on later architecture in the region. This graceful soaring structure is an outstanding example of the architecture and ornamentation of the Islamic period in Central Asia and played a significant role in their further dissemination as far as India as demonstrated by the Qutb Minar, Delhi, begun in 1202 and completed in the early 14th century.

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Protection and management requirements (2011)

The legal and institutional framework for the effective management of the Minaret and archaeological remains (70ha with a 600ha buffer zone), is regulated by the Department of Historic Monuments on behalf of the Ministry of Information and Culture of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The specific law under which the monument and its landscape are protected is the Law on the Protection of Historical and Cultural Properties (Ministry of Justice, 21 May 2004) which is in force and provides the basis for financial and technical resources.

The property will be removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger when its desired state of conservation is achieved in accordance with Decision 31 COM 7A.20. This must include the increased capacity of the staff of the Afghan Ministry of Culture and Information who are in charge of the preservation of the property; precise identification of the World Heritage property and clearly marked boundaries and buffer zones; assurance of the long-term stability and conservation of the Minaret; assurance of site security, and a comprehensive management system including the development and implementation of a long-term conservation policy.

Proposals for the protection of the Minaret and its environs are under scientific discussion. They would seek to monitor erosion of the riverbanks adjacent to the Minaret, any further movement in the level of inclination of the monument along with any degradation in the historic fabric in general, and mitigate any adverse observations with appropriate programs of stabilization and conservation measures where necessary. Measures for the protection and monitoring of the wider archaeological site are currently under review and an approved program of research and public awareness raising is likely to be instigated in the long term.

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1 Comment for Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam

  1. what a surprise!!! just one pillar called unesco heritage site, that they are blind to choose one of the places are the world.

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