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Ancient Susa threatened by farming


05 June 2005




Over 80% of the historical sites of the Susa region, including Ivan-e Karkheh and Haft-Tappeh, are currently being used for agricultural purposes,” the director of the Shush Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department said on Sunday.


Mehdi Sharbati added that archaeologists have issued warnings about the threat farming poses to the historical site of Susa in Khuzestan Province .


Irrigation, leveling the ground, as well as various other agricultural operations can cause serious damage to the historical structures, he said.


Major sections of the modern city of Shush have been constructed on historical sites belonging to hundreds of private owners, making it difficult for the department to purchase any of them, he lamented.


“The department is making serious efforts to protect the area with the help of regional councils and is establishing several associations of cultural heritage enthusiasts,” he added.


Unfortunately, experts believe that the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) can not excavate and save all of the historical sites due to the fact that they are spread out over a large area.


Susa was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Elam. The city was captured by Persian king Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, and Darius I, who ruled from 522 to 486 BC, made it the administrative capital of Persia and built a great palace there.


The ruins of the palace of Darius are impressive and a great number of inscriptions and friezes have been found at the site.




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