Pasargadae is the location of the tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. Through the ages it was Islamised and the tomb was ascribed to the Mother of Solomon. It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that archaeological evidence demonstrated the relationship between the site and Cyrus and it was appropriated into conflicting political discourses on nationalism and Islamism while concurrently acknowledged as a national and then a World Heritages site. However, Pasargadae is neither an isolated World Heritage site, nor purely a symbol of abstract state politics. Pasargadae and its immediate vicinity constitute a living landscape occupied by villagers, nomads and tourists. This edited volume presents for the first time a broad, multi-disciplinary examination of Pasargadae by experts from both outside and within Iran. It specifically focuses on those disciplines that are absent from existing studies, such as ethnography, tourism and museum studies providing valuable insights into this fascinating place. In its totality, the book argues that to understand World Heritage sites and their problems fully, a holistic approach should be adopted, which considers the manifold of perspectives and issues. It also puts forward a novel approach to the question of heritage, representation and construction of collective identity from the framework of place.
’World Heritage designation may hinder further transformations of locality, but Pasargadae resists one-dimensional interpretations nonetheless. Chapters in this volume acknowledge disciplinary co-creations of place, while creatively presenting a palimpsest of meanings through unique and timely debates. This is a fascinating example of a multidisciplinary approach to the construction of heritage value that resists predictable forms of analyses.’ Trinidad Rico, UCL Qatar ’This volume represents an important addition to the available literature on Pasargadae. Ali Mozaffari and his co-authors explore the numerous ways in which the 'afterlife' of one of Iran's most memorable sites still calls for detailed, on-going investigation. The tension that exists between the needs of the monuments and the needs of modern local communities is but one of many topics that receives deserved notice.’ David Stronach, Emeritus Professor, University of California, Berkeley, USA 'The collection of articles brought together by Ali Mozaffari provides a thorough and multi-layered study of Pasargadae as a World Heritage site. This book on the city of Cyrus the Great not only does justice to its proper historical and archaeological place in history, but is also a great contribution to our understanding of the relationship between the site, the environment and the people who live there.' Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine, USA ’An excellent introduction to the historical and modern significance of this World Heritage site. It is an important milestone in the development of the heritage literature, because it explains the world-historical importance of the site for our own cultural heritage (in which it has been overshadowed by Greece), and for Iran in the modern Middle East.’ Brian Spooner, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Contents: Conceptualising a World Heritage Site, Ali Mozaffari; Archaeological approaches and their future directions in Pasargadae, Remy Boucharlat; The current state of heritage management at Pasargadae: problems and prospects, Mohammad-Hassan Talebian; Archaeology and useful knowledge: Pasargadae and the rationalities of digging 'real' places, William M. Taylor; The costs of Paradise: temporalisations of place in Pasargadae, Riccardo Baldissone; Pasargadae, MA dar SoleimA n and LeilA : placing Pasargadae within its present rural context, Soheila Shahshahani; Perspectives and prospects for cultural tourism in the Pasargadae region, Tod Jones and Mohammad-Hassan Talebian; The past in the present: using poetics as an interpretative strategy at Pasargadae, Jennifer Harris; The (unfinished) museum at Pasargadae, Ali Mozaffari and Nigel Westbrook; Antinomies of development: heritage, media and the Sivand dam controversy, Elham Shamoradi and Ebrahim Abdollahzadeh (translated by Ali Mozaffari); Index.