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Armed Artifact Poachers Plunder Sasanid City of Gur


16 September 2004



Undeterred by any police crackdown or prosecution, armed diggers and farmers are excavating the century-old city of Gur in search of ancient artifacts, south of Iran.

The 300-hectar city was built during the reign of Emperor Ardeshir Babakan the founder of Sasanid dynasty, and is one of the biggest historical sites of that period. “But right now 280-hectar of the land is illegally cultivated by farmers and the rest is ploughed on a daily basis by armed artifact poachers,” said Azamollah Kazemi, head of archeological workshops in Firoozabad, south of Kerman province.

Gur was never subject to archeological studies and if the digging frenzy continues, it would certainly damage architectural structures left fro the Sasanid era, she added.

“There are just two guards for the whole site and naturally they cannot confront the bands. Every morning you can see more pits dug in search of relics,” Kazemi noted.

Iranian archeologists believe studies in Gur, 10 kilometers from Firoozabad, could shed some light on the lifestyle of Iranians at the time of Sasanid dynasty.




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