–- Experts of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Organization (CHTO) were able to save the stone lions and
tombstones in a graveyard in Khuzestan which were in
danger of being submerged by the rising waters of the
reservoir of the Karun-3 Dam.
The stone lions and tombstones of the
Zir Pass in the Izeh region of Khuzestan Province, symbols
of the bravery of Bakhtiari heroes 200 years ago, were
finally transferred to a safe place.
CHTO expert Jafar Mehrkian pointed to
the problems they faced in transporting the monuments,
saying, “Four 400-kilo stone lions have been saved so
far, but some of the inhabitants of the region claimed
that the stone lions belonged to their ancestors, and
opposed the transfer.
“It was very important for us that
they be rescued and kept in a safe place. We did not want
them to be scattered, so they were all gathered in one
place to be later transferred to a museum,” he said.
He stated that the materials used in the
monuments support the theory that they were made some 200
kilometers away from where they were set up, probably
somewhere in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province.
“The monuments provide valuable
information about the people interred in the graveyard,
the military equipment they used, as well as the
(cultural) anthropology of the Bakhtiari nation. Their
shapes are also unique,” he said in conclusion.
The tradition of installing stone lions
on graves dates back to the Elamite era, thousands of
The Karun-3 Dam was launched on November
8, submerging many historical sites, monuments, and
Iranian and foreign archaeologists have
rushed to the site to save what they can and have so far
been able to rescue several stone lions and many
historical earthenware items.
The region is home to an ancient site
from the Elamite era which includes graves as well as
ancient caves, artifacts, and remains dating back to the