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Total Destruction of Gondi Shapur by Next Year



11 October 2005


As a result of a relentless agricultural and illegal excavations, the ancient medical and scientific city of Gondi Shapur, the oldest University City in the world, will be destroyed completely by next year, according to CHN.


“To this date no solution has been found to salvage the remains of Gondi Shapur. Already 25 ancient Tappeh out of 30 were completely destroyed, and the remaining five Tappeh will be destroyed by the next year,” Dr Mas’ud Azarnoush, head of Iran’s National Heritage Archaeological Research Centre told Persian service of CHN.


“Last year after a visit by Chicago University, it was agreed that the ancient city to be excavated by a team of Iranian and US archaeologists, but this never materialized due to various problems”, Azarnoush asserted.


There is a general consensus among the experts that even protecting this historical area would not be enough to save the ancient city from an absolute destruction, due to the absence of any funding as well as negligence and lack of support from the province’s officials and executives.


In early October 2005, scholars and locals appealed to the new Iranian President Ahmadinežad, to protect the ancient city from agriculture and illegal diggings, citing its archaeological importance as well as its importance to "national and identity issues:" To this date no support has been received.


Goni Shapur also known as Jondi Shapur located in the southern province of Khuzestan, it was a major academic town at the time of the Sasanid dynasty and early Islamic period. As Arabs invaded Iran in 7th century, many of the city's scholarly texts was translated from the Middle-Persian (Pahlavi) language into Arabic, transmitted the Iranian knowledge to the Arab and Islamic world.  


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