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Ministry of Petroleum to Leave Tchogha Zanbil Region


News Category: Elamite Period

 05 December 2005



Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum has promised not to carry out any oil explorations in the vicinity of the ancient Tchogha Zanbil, in north of Khuzestan province, if it is determined by the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran that the region contains historical evidence. The ministry has also confirmed that no explosives have been used in the area.

Following the opposition of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran to the use of explosive pipes for oil exploration in the vicinity of Tchogha Zanbil in Susa, the Ministry of Petroleum stopped its activities in the area, waiting for the results of studies of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization to come out, determining the Ministry’s future course of action.

“The Ministry of Petroleum has submitted the maps to the ICHTO, and has demanded the organization to announce the result of its studies in north Khuzestan as soon as possible. Regarding the importance of the historical evidence of the region, if it is proved that this excavations will cause any harm to the historical sites, the exploration activities will be absolutely stopped in the region and will be continued in Ilam province,” said Mohammad Alizadeh Mohammadi, deputy for oil exploration of the Ministry of Petroleum.

“Oil is an economic resource that will eventually finish one day, while cultural heritages are eternal and can be regarded as a significant income source. Therefore, the Ministry of Petroleum will never cause any harm to the cultural heritage which will be irrecoverable,” added Mohammadi.

“There are no explosive materials in the vicinity of Tchogha Zanbil. The region has been cleaned completely. No dynamites have been used in the area,” explained Mojtaba Mohammad Khorasani, head of Geophysics office of the explorations management department of the Ministry of Petroleum.

The historical site of Tchogha Zanbil is one of the ancient monuments of Iran registered on UNESCO World Heritage List.


The architecture employed in the ziggurat resembles those of the Egyptian pyramids and Mayan temples, founded 2,500 years BC. It is located south-west of Iran in Khuzestan province, 30 km south-west of Susa, the famous capital of Elam at a close distance from Dez River which is one of the branches of the larger Karun River.

The Tchogha Zanbil ziggurat is the only surviving ziggurat in Iran and is one of the most important remnants of the Elamite civilization.





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