Leila Mahmoudi Farahani, Marzieh Setayesh, Leila Shokrollahi



A landscape or site, which has been inhabited for long, consists of layers of history. This history is sometimes reserved in forms of small physical remnants, monuments, memorials, names or collective memories of destruction and reconstruction. In this sense, a site/landscape can be presumed as what Derrida refers to as a “palimpsest”. A palimpsest whose character is identified in a duality between the existing layers of meaning accumulated through time, and the act of erasing them to make room for the new to appear. In this study, the spatial collective memory of the Chahar Bagh site which is located in the historical centre of Shiraz will be investigated as a contextualized palimpsest, with various projects adjacent one another; each conceptualized and constructed within various historical settings; while the site as a heritage is still an active part of the city’s cultural life. Through analysing the different layers of meaning corresponding to these adjacent projects, a number of principals for reading the complexities of similar historical sites can be driven.


Heritage; palimpsest; collective memory; urban memory; Chahar Bagh

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