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5000-Year-Old Chul-Tappeh Another Victim of Unleashed Dam Construction Project in Iran


News Category: Cultural Disaster

 24 December 2005



LONDON, (CAIS) - Hashtrud region in the East-Azarbaijan province has become another victim of the hysterical dam construction project in Iran. Sahand Dam is going to destroy Chul Tappeh, which dates back to 5000-years ago, while only an archaeological survey and a preliminary excavation have been carried out.  


“In the three hectares of Chul Tappeh, we have only managed to carry out a survey and a preliminary excavation with a minimum budget to establish the age of the mound and possible a rescue operation”, said Mohammad Feyzkhah, archaeologist from ICHTO of East Azarbaijan provincial branch.


“Although, the test trenches has reached 5000-years-old occupational level, but we never managed to reach the virgin soil, to establish the exact age of the mound due to the shortage of time and lack of finance. We speculate the mound could be dated back to Chalcolithic period (5000 BCE)”, said Feyzkhah.


“Chul-Tappeh, despite the fact of its’ rarity and value to Iranian prehistory, the ancient site now is being lost forever, as the result of this dam construction”, he stated.


Feyzkhah added, “There are 9 more archaeological mounds in the vicinity of Sahand Lake, in which 4 of them will be submerged, and the ancient road which will lead to the rest of mounds will be submerged too”. He continued by stating, “among the ancient monuments that will be destroyed is the Tilu-Topor Fort, which dates back to Saljuq period. The fort after flooding the dam will become an island in the middle of an artificial lake. In due time the fort will be destroyed as the result of surrounding water and high level of damp”.


The construction of the Sahand dam started over eight years ago without consulting ICGTO. After 70% of the construction had been completed the officials then requested the ICHTO to carry out an archaeological survey. The Report showed that in order to prepare the site for construction the officials have sanctioned the flattening of the Ilkhanid bridge of Gurchin (Gurchinlu) and a Partho-Sasanian.


It seems that there is an iron will to destroy every trace of the country’s ancient culture through dam construction projects, which are considered a seminal part of the allegedly process of industrialization and modernization and regularly hyped by Islamic government Iran.



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