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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©

 

Ancient Artifacts Under Threat

 

News Category: Cultural

 17 November 2005

 

 

Historical artifacts unearthed by archeologists face serious threats due to the lack of a directive to safeguard such items as well as climatic changes, exposure to pollution and the absence of an obligation to maintain them under proper conditions, reported CHN.


Archeologists usually use their own experience in safeguarding valuable items obtained during excavations rather than being bound by any legal requirement.


An archeologist at the Maintenance and Research Center of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Shahrzad Amin-Shirazi pointed out that historical items remain preserved underground for several hundred years but face the risk of destruction after they are dug out.


“After being unearthed, historical items are exposed to a variety of physical factors and pollutants. Some artifacts cannot bear such drastic environmental changes and face destruction.


“Physical and mechanical pressures, exposure to light, changes in temperature are among the main factors contributing to the decomposition of historical items.“


Amin-Shirazi said that some historical items are sensitive to light and exposure to light would threaten their maintenance. On the other hand, humidity is another factor which is responsible for the degeneration of artifacts. In reality, many historical items are being kept in unsatisfactory conditions, he said.


“To overcome this, archeologists should study the conditions under which artifacts are preserved underground and create the same state for maintaining them after they are unearthed.“


Archeologist and member of board of Tarbiat-e Modarres (instructors’ training) University Hamid Khatib Shahidi said that there is no action plan for studying the conditions under which cultural items are preserved underground and a definite formula is not available for determining their physical and chemical composition.


He called for drawing up a by-law which will require archeologists to pay special attention to the maintenance of historical items they unearth.

 

 

 

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