historic monuments and ancient hills in Kermanshah
province have been damaged in the course of
illegal excavations, ISNA reported.
Security manager of Kermanshah Cultural Heritage
and Tourism Department, Arash Shambayati,
explained that the plundered sites include the
Arsacid Lojivaran Hill, Sassanid monuments and
prehistoric caves some of which have not been yet
registered as national heritage.
"Last year's illegal digging in Lojivaran
Hill led to the discovery of scores of Arsacid
coins, which were all stolen away by smugglers and
excavators," he recalled, adding the
department had called on the police forces in the
city of Bisotoun to help safeguard the ancient
hill against further pillage.
He added that illegal excavators had not been yet
identified. "Most of these sites are located
in far-off places away from the city and the
thefts are committed using the dark of the
night," Shambayati elaborated.
Locals in Sirkooh village claim that illegal
excavators have looted a historic tombstone, and
have also dug nine deep wells near a historic
fortress to unearth historic relics.
Another village raided this month by smugglers is
Rijab. According to locals, the raiders were armed
and used metal detectors. The historic Abdollah
bin Omar Mosque, one of the oldest mosques of the
Islamic era, is located in this village.
The department has formulated special volunteer
groups comprising local inhabitants to safeguard
the monuments. "However, since the job is
voluntary and no special privileges have been
considered for the members, they cannot be obliged
to cooperate or provide us with information,"
The raided sites are not registered in the
cultural heritage list--a fact which makes it
difficult to preserve them.