archaeologists say that the historical sites in
Iran’s northern province of Mazandaran are
frequently plundered by smugglers, the Persian
service of the Cultural Heritage News (CHN) agency
announced on Tuesday.
plundered items were decorative stones, bracelets,
earrings, and headdresses that date back to 3500
years ago which were buried in cemeteries during
the Iron Age,” the director of the Archaeology
Center of the Mazandaran Cultural Heritage and
Tourism Department told CHN.
items were also among the looted objects, which
are often broken due to the crude excavation
techniques of the smugglers, Ali Mahforuzi said.
have also unearthed gems and ancient seals, which
are important for archaeologists,” he added.
said that the existence of over 100,000 illegal
excavation holes at Mazandaran’s historical
sites indicates the magnitude of the problem. If
half of the illegal digs yielded historical items,
one can easily imagine the incredible amount of
items that are being looted, he lamented.
usually hide in Mazandaran’s beautiful forests
in order to avoid detection by the police.
looters have inflicted irreparable damage on
archeological research activities in Mazandaran
many cases, they have plundered totally unique
items found nowhere else in the country.
poverty and the lack of guards have caused a rise
in illegal excavations.