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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©

 

Ancient Delgan Infested With Plunderers

 

15 October 2005

 

 

(Iran Daily) -- With the change in administration in Sistan-Baluchestan province, the funds allocated for emergency excavations at Delgân historical site, which is currently being plundered by unauthorized diggers, have been delayed.


According to CHN, the 5,000-year old site at Delgan on Jazmourian plateau and the tombs which are identified as belonging to Bampour and Halilroud civilizations of ancient Persia have been exposed to plundering.


After plundering cultural heritage artifacts in Jiroft, unauthorized diggers have now set their eyes on Delgan.


Archeologist and deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization for safeguarding sites in Sistan-Baluchestan province, Mohammad Heidari said that plundering of historical tombs is now continuing unabated in Delgan, notably in Chegerdak, which is located more than 100 km away from the nearest village and 200 km from Iranshahr. So, unauthorized diggers can easily engage in digging for hours without any fear of preventive measures by provincial officials.


“They can easily plunder cultural heritage relics found in Delgan tombs.“


Heidari said that the former governor general and executive officials had pledged 100 million rials for excavations at Delgan historical site, but, currently unauthorized diggers are involved in illegal digging in the area stealing cultural heritage items.


“Simultaneously, plundering of Espidej and Delgan historical sites has made provincial officials pay more attention to safeguarding Espidej and downgrade the importance of Delgan historical site.


Heidari said that Delgan is no less significant than Espidej. It (Delgan) is 5,000 years old.


“Three rounds of excavations have been conducted in Espidej which led to clues about lifestyle of the inhabitants of the region.


“However, no excavation has been carried out yet at Delgan. The hot weather had prevented archeologists from conducting excavations during the summer.


Therefore, no excavation has been carried out there.“


The official said that Espidej has been plundered and efforts should now be focused on saving Delgan. “Some 40 to 50 unauthorized diggers are excavating at Delgan every day. They are armed and will fire at the police if they want to stop them.


“Since Delgan historical site is 200 km away from Iranshahr, the few guards with Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) are not able to confront them,“ he said.