Situated in Ghor Province in Afghanistan, around 200 kilometers east of Herat, at the confluence of the Hari Rud and Jam Rud rivers, the Minaret of Jam’s isolated location may have prevented the monument from intentional destruction over nearly 900 years. In return, this isolation now poses serious challenges in terms of accessibility, feasibility of conservation and stabilization works and long-term maintenance.
Last September, with international assistance from the World Heritage Fund,the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, and with the support of the Afghan government, which provided all of the security and logistical arrangements, a mission took place for a thorough documentation of Minaret of Jam.
The video of this expedition brings to life the intense commitment of UNESCO to its mission to preserve and protect cultural heritage.
Believed to have been built between 1163 and 1203 during the reign of the Ghurid sovereign Ghyias-ud-Din, the Minaret of Jam, has been on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Properties in Danger since 2002.
During the mission the UNESCO experts, along with Afghan officials from the Ministry of Information and Culture, remained on site for four days to complete the collection of field data. The combined technology used to collect the data has allowed the first thorough survey of the inner and outer portions of the Minaret, along with a general survey of the surrounding area.
The comprehensive and detailed onsite documentation created through this mission will be the baseline of a long-term stabilization and conservation plan for the Minaret of Jam. The produced data will also be used to raise public awareness of cultural heritage in Afghanistan.