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Attention! IRI destroying Persian/Iranian heritage sites!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:23 pm    Post subject: Attention! IRI destroying Persian/Iranian heritage sites!!! Reply with quote

Pasargadae must be saved for future generations
Tehran Times - By Mostafa Mousavi Sabet
Sep 1, 2004

On July 1, the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) issued a proclamation adding Iran?s ancient site Pasargadae to the World Heritage List during its 28th session in the eastern Chinese city of Souzhoui. So far so good, but not for the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) and the Fars Regional Water Authority who seem to be collaborating on a plan to flood a part of the ancient capital of the Achaemenids!

Without conducting any expert-level feasibility studies beforehand, construction of a dam named Sivand was begun in the region of Teng-e Bolaghi, four kilometers from Pasargadae. The dam is scheduled to be completed by March 21, 2005 and afterwards a part of the ancient city will be buried under tons of mud from the Polvar River.

The area is home to 84 historical sites, including ancient mounds, metalworking furnaces, caves and shelters, stone tombs of former rulers of Fars, two group graves from the Parthian era, an exclusive 4-kilometer royal road paved with stones, as well as several other historical sites which will be submerged under water if the dam becomes operational. The Fars Regional Water Authority has made a big mistake and the CHTO has made it worse by approving the dam project. Now, the CHTO has hastily decided to invite French, German, and Polish archaeologists to help their Iranian counterparts in gathering information on the sites that will be flooded to ease its managers' minds about their decision to allow part of the unique site to be submerged!

It seems that CHTO officials regard cultural heritage as something disposable. If we think along these lines, curators of museums are wasting their time and should close down their museums because archaeologists have sufficiently studied the relics kept in museums. Since Iran is a popular destination for cultural tourists who come to the country to visit the historical sites, the newly-appointed management team of the CHTO should be congratulated for choosing such a way to improve Iran?s tourism industry!

The monuments and historical sites of Iran have been violated numerous times by individuals and organizations during the short period the new team has been on job: relics are being looted by smugglers at the ancient ruins near the southern city of Jiroft; Golestan Palace is threatened by construction operations near the monument in the heart of Tehran; and the palaces of Darius and Artaxerxes I in Susa, the capital of ancient Elam, have been turned into garbage dumps.

It is a shame that the CHTO has not seriously responded to such actions. It is even worse that this time the organization itself is partly responsible for an act of cultural destruction by allowing an ancient site to be flooded. Maybe they intend to give underwater archaeologists the opportunity to study Pasargadae! Or maybe it is not important for CHTO officials that UNESCO has added the ancient site to the List of World Heritage in Danger! Our cultural heritage is part of our identity. Our ancestors will not be returning to rebuild their monuments. Is the dam such an important national project that we must bury part of our history under mud?

CHTO officials can still stop the project through legal means, if they so desire. Construction of the Sivand Dam began in 1992 without consultation with Cultural Heritage Organization officials, although national laws and regulations state that all construction near monuments and ancient sites must be approved by cultural heritage officials.

It is odd that this news was not covered by any newspaper except the Tehran Times. Iranian cultural figures responded to the destruction of the statutes of Buddha in Afghanistan in 2001 with strong protests, but now they are silent about the destruction of Iran?s own cultural heritage.

If these sites are destroyed, they will be lost forever. Therefore, we should reflect on how future generations will view our actions.



Posted by "Khorshid":

Topic: Letter to Gil Stein, University of Chicago
Topic Starter: Khorshid
Author: Khorshid Posted: Tue Aug 17 03:48 AM

August 17, 2004

Gil Stein
The Oriental Institute
University of Chicago
1155 East 58th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637
[Email: gstein@uchicago.edu ]

Dear Professor Stein,

I’m writing to you regarding the recent destruction of an invaluable part of Iran’s, and the world’s, heritage by the fundamentalists of the Islamic Republic. In an August 4, 2004 article, the state controlled Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN) confessed that the ancient site of Jondi-Shahpour, site of the ancient Sassanian city, has been deliberately and irreparably destroyed. It may be of some interest to the Oriental Institute that according to the CHN, archeologists from the University of Chicago, who were accompanying Professor Masud Azarnush, director of archeological research of Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization, have witnessed the destruction. The Islamic Republic’s own ISNA news agency made the announcement that 90 percent of Jondi-Shahpur has been wiped out. Where sir is the outrage? Why the silence?

Later, during the same week, it was revealed that Dezful’s “Islamic Azad University”, in the province of Khuzestan, had demolished the Sassanian City of Ivan-e Kerkhe, known to western scholars as “Choaspes”. Mr. Mehdi Ghanbari, director of the Office of Cultural Heritage in Shoosh, acknowledged this criminal and barbarous act.

Dear sir, is not the Islamic Republic’s twenty-five-year-long onslaught against Iran’s pre-Islamic past, reminiscent of the Nazi destruction of all things associated with Judaism, the Khmer Rouge’s plunder of Angkor Vat, or the Taliban’s destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas, worthy of the least bit of protest and publicity?

Respectfully yours,



Robert D. Biggs, Editor
Journal of Near Eastern Studies
The Oriental Institute
University of Chicago
1155 E. 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
Telephone: (773) 702-9592
Email: R-Biggs@uchicago.edu

ABBAS ALIZADEH, Senior Research Associate, Iranian Prehistoric Project
Email alias: a-alizadeh@uchicago.edu
Telephone: 773-702-9531

JOHN BRINKMAN, Charles H. Swift Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Mesopotamian History
Email alias: j-brinkman@uchicago.edu
Telephone: 773-702-9545

FRED DONNER, Professor of Islamic History
Email alias: f-donner@uchicago.edu
Telephone: 773-702-9544

McGUIRE GIBSON, Professor of Archaeology
Email alias: m-gibson@uchicago.edu
Telephone: 773-702-9525

NORMAN GOLB, Ludwig Rosenberger Professor in Jewish History and Civilization
Email alias: n-golb@uchicago.edu
Telephone: 773-702-9526

HARRY A. HOFFNER, JR., John A. Wilson Professor Emeritus of Hittitology
Email alias: h-hoffner@uchicago.edu
Telephone: 773-702-9527

---You can also contact:

PAULA VON BECHTOLSHEIM (WOODS), Managing Editor, Journal of Near Eastern Studies (JNES)
No email address
Telephone: 773-702-9592




The War Against Iran's History: The Republic Destroys Two Sassanid Cities

...Colonel Sohrab Diba's Resting Place Destroyed

"Genocide": The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national group.

Jondi-Shahpour Has Been Destroyed Beyond Repair

The deplorable condition of Jondi-Shahpour dissuades archeologists from continuing their work.

Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)
August 4, 2004

Efforts by archeologists who had departed for the ancient city of Jondi-Shahpour, located in the province of Khuzestan, to begin scientific excavations have been in vain and they, having observed the deplorable condition of this ancient Sassanian city, have been dissuaded from beginning work in the area.

According to CHN, some time ago professor Masud Azarnush, an American archeologist from the University of Chicago and a number of other experts departed for the province of Khuzestan to begin archeological work in Jondi-Shahpour, but upon arrival at the location found themselves shocked by the high percentage of destruction of this Sassanian city.

Masud Azarnush, director of archeological research of Irans Cultural Heritage Organization says of his trip to Jondi-Shahpour: By organizing a group of experts I intended to begin scientific work in Jondi-Shahpour so that with assistance from American archeologists we could better assess the condition of this city. We were shocked!

Professor Azarnush explained, We observed in Jondi-Shahpour a very high percentage of ruination of horrible dimensions that has resulted in the destruction of innumerable national treasures of the buried Sassanian city. At this time, the ancient grounds have been abandoned to farmers by Khuzestans Office of Land and Property and these farmers, working worry-free over the buried city, through irrigation and tilling daily unearth a great number of invaluable objects of antiquity.

Having realized for some time the value of the land they plough, these farmers, under the pretense of digging for water wells and tilling the soil, conduct unauthorized excavations of the ancient Sassanian city and smugglers of ancient art, also under various pretexts, pressuring them in turn to steal the historical objects they unearth, buy them with very little money.

Recent incidents at the outset of the arrival of Azarnush and the American archeologists brought them face to face with the deplorable condition of Jondi-Shahpour, deplorable to such extent that the last mission, in a concluding report, declared the city to be fairly wiped out.

Speaking on the failure of the archeological expedition under professor Azarnush, Mina Alizadeh, director of Khuzestans Office of Cultural Heritage, observes: After discovering the condition of Jondi-Shahpour, Azarnush returned to Tehran and has yet to share his findings on the type of work atop the Sassanian city with my office.

Will, then, efforts be made to save Jondi-Shahpour or not?

The Sassanian city of Jondi-Shahpour is one of the most important, and was one of the best-preserved cities from the Sassanid period. The citys university, merging from the soil, is generally considered the worlds first university.

Given the great importance of this buried ancient city, it will be noted that authorities have still made no efforts at all to save Jondi-Shahpour from illegal excavations and destruction.


Update on this Iran-killing crime by the Islamic Republic: According to the Islamic Republics own ISNA news agency, %90 of Jondi-Shahpour has been destroyed.



Dezfuls Azad University Has Demolished the Sassanian City of Ivan-e Kerkhe (Choaspes)

[Eighteen kilometers from Dezful, in Irans province of Khuzestan, overlooking the scenery along the banks of the river Kerkhe, stood the magnificent brick Palace of the Sassanian Monarchy. Around the palace there is a rampart, and the monument itself possessed a large and magnificent hall wherein the court ceremonies of Iranians must have been held.]

Peik-e Hafte
August 12, 2004

During the past few days, city of Dezfuls Azad University, under the pretense of leveling the lands of Ivan-e Kerkhe for farming, has demolished parts of this Sassanian citys buildings with heavy machinery. Although province of Khuzestans Office of Cultural Heritage has filed complaint against the university, nevertheless given the absence of support from state officials for this office, every day Azad University continues to demolish more sections of this [invaluable] Sassanian city with ease.

In a report by Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency, Mehdi Ghanbari, director of the Office of Cultural Heritage in Shoosh (Susa), states: On August 2nd a specialist with Susas Office of Cultural Heritage, saw in utter disbelief a heart rending scene in Ivan-e Kerkhe. People from Azad University were busily engaged in demolishing Ivan-e Kerkhe with the intention of flattening the hills of the buried Sassanian city to use these land for farming and construction.

According to Ghanbari, during the leveling of these hills, which was done without any attention towards observers from his office, the Sassanian building embedded in the hill emerged and was plainly visible. Nevertheless, the bunch comfortably demolished these protruding sections of the ancient city.

It was the Office of Natural Resources of the city of Shoosh, which, totally disregarding the antiquity of the location and its historical place in Irans heritage, handed over large sections of Ivan-e Kerkhe to Azad University.

Ghanbaris office views the abandonment of the lands of Ivan-e Kerkhe to Azad University as illegal. The complaint against Azad University was intended to return these ancient grounds to the nations sanctuary of cultural heritage.

But Azad University, after being informed of the complaint, has actually speeded up the demolitions so that with the destruction of the Sassanian city their aims could be the sooner achieved.

Meanwhile, after expressing his regret for the occurrence of these illegal activities, Masud Azarnush, director of archeological research in the Office of Cultural Heritage, observes: As no research has yet been done on this Sassanian city, these demolitions will to a large extent make an assessment of their knowledge and achievements during the Sassanid period impossible.

Azarnush has promised to pursue the matter as soon as possible. [Say Insha-allah!]

The buried city of Ivan-e Kerkhe is one of the most well preserved cities from the Sassanian period. The city covers some 400 hectares and so far no significant scientific research has been conducted in the area.


There was also the following article which I'll post here to avoid opening another topic. Its subject is hardly any different.

The Destruction of Colonel Sohrab Dibas Burial Place

Turbaned thugs, these self-styled clergymen and representatives of God, lack even the least amount of honor, humanity and conscience to at least let the dead rest in peace.

Source: HezbeMihan/Zakeri
August 11, 2004

Our friends in Iran report that by the regimes orders, the tomb of Colonel Sohrab Diba has been completely desecrated and destroyed, and that the senseless criminals have even vandalized the marble headstone of his tomb.

Colonel Sohrab Diba, who was from Tabriz, was an honorable and patriotic officer who passed away, in the prime of life, after battling a fatal illness. With his passing, his young wife and his only child, who was then but five years of age, were forever deprived of a loving husband and father. As fate would have it, fourteen years later this child, whose name was Farah, met and married Mohamad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

Perhaps from the point of view of the representatives of Allah, the unforgivable sin of that young officer was to have not guessed that, after his death, his daughter would become the Empress of Iran, and to have not killed the Child before his own death.

Are these barbarous criminals worthy of being called human?



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everyone in Iran is embracing their Iranianism these days, people all talk about how nationalism and especially Iran's pre islamic heritage has become such a big deal. So I just can't believe that there hasn't been more of an outrage, maybe deegeh khoonee namondeh ke be joosh beyad.

Everyone please spread this around!
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