The Arg-e Bam is located in Bam, a city in Kerman Province of Southeastern Iran and is listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site “Bam and its Cultural Landscape”. Bam is situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. The origins of Bam can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC). Apart from its age, what other factors that make this site distinctive from others? Do you know?
Bam and its Cultural Landscape represents an outstanding example of an ancient fortified settlement that developed around the Iranian central plateau and is an exceptional testimony to the development of a trading settlement in the desert environment of the Central Asian region. In fact, Arg-e Bam is the most representative example of a fortified medieval town built in vernacular technique using mud layers. The entire town was built in vernacular technique using mud layers, sun-dried mud bricks and vaulted and domed structures. The entire area is marked by a series of forts and citadels, now in ruins. However, Bam has preserved some of the underground irrigation canals, the qanāts, etc.
The close observation of the entire area clearly indicates that township was well planned and planners had foreseen the entire final form of the building and city from the first steps in the planning process. During each phase of building development already-built part enjoyed a complete figure, and each additional part could be “sewn” into the existing section seamlessly.
Three types of houses were found in the area for different classes of people – smaller houses for poor people, medium-sized houses with 3-4 rooms for middle class people and luxurious houses for well off people.
In short, the living cultural landscape retains a high level of integrity with the continued use and maintenance of the historic hydraulic systems qanāts and continued territorial land use for agricultural activities.