People, Travel

Saving Persepolis From Lichens

Saving Persepolis From LichensSaving Persepolis From Lichens

Researchers have come up with an innovative method to save the world famous Persepolis ruins in Iran’s Fars Province from lichens without harming the historical site.

Persepolis, a World Heritage Site, has been battling lichens for several years, but researchers struggled to devise a risk-free method to rid the site of lichens without damaging the integrity of the structure.

“The study, which will be published soon, describes a method with which we can safely remove the invasive plant species,” said Masoud Rezaei Monfared, the site manager, according to Mehr News Agency.

Biological growth, such algae, bacteria and lichens, can cause irreparable damage to ancient structures and cause engravings on stone surfaces to fade.

In addition to lichens, land subsidence caused by excessive water withdrawal from illegally dug wells around Persepolis threatens the site, with cracks already appearing across the ancient ruins.

Founded by Darius I in 518 BC, Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire and is situated 70 km northeast of the city of Shiraz, Fars Province. In 333 BC, Persepolis was devastated by Alexander the Great, and it has been in ruins ever since.

A magnificent example of the Achaemenid-style of architecture, the ruins were declared a World Heritage Site in 1979.