of the 3000-year-old Sarm Tepe, an ancient site
near the central Iranian city of Qom was looted by
illegal excavations owing to hiatus in
archaeological studies and lack of security
devices, director of the archaeological team
working on the site announced on Sunday.
“In depth of 20 centimeters to six meters, the
site contains many ancient items. The excavations
carried out over the past years have increased the
value of the site. A break between two phases of
excavation provided a good opportunity for
smugglers to dig out artifacts in the region,”
Khosro Purbakhshandeh added.
Various architectural styles of graves and many
relics have been discovered in the cemetery of the
Sarm Tepe during the three phases of excavations.
No example of the artifacts has been seen in any
Iranian ancient sites, archaeologists believe.
“Remarkable part of studies became futile
because of the illegal excavations. Presence of
smugglers means destruction of cultural heritage
in the region because they not only loot artifacts
but also have no care in their excavation. Thus
many other artifacts are destroyed in the
excavations,” Purbakhshandeh said.
A unique common grave of a couple, which had been
discovered during past excavations, has been
“We could learn about the immigration of the
people living at 200 to 300 kilometers around if
the archaeological studies continued. The studies
could also result in finding new information,
which could help identification of the region,”