operations are underway just 500 meters south of the
NIOC operations are not in coordination with the Cultural
Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO). Explosions in
the wells dug near the site would cause irreparable damage
to the ancient Iranian cultural heritage,” the director
of the Haft-Tappeh and Chogha Zanbil Research Base, Mehdi
base was informed about the operations by chance three
days after the NIOC workers began the exploration work. We
have asked the company officials to study the threats the
wells pose for Chogha Zanbil along with some experts from
the CHTO,” he added.
research base and the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage and
Tourism Department have called on the NIOC to halt the
operations until further investigation can be carried out.
experts believe that the region has no oil resources,
however, they insist on carrying out the explorations,”
only surviving ziggurat in Iran, Chogha Zanbil is a major remnant of the Elamite
civilization, which was constructed in the Elamite city of
Dur Untash. It is located near Susa, the ancient capital of
Elam, and was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in
about 1250 BC under the direction of the Elamite ruler
Untash-Gal during the Middle Elamite period (c. 1500–c.
1000 BC), the complex was dedicated to Inshushinak (Insusinak),
the bull-god of Susa. The square base of the ziggurat, 344 feet (105 meters)
on each side, was built principally of brick and cement.
It now stands 80 feet (24 meters) high, less than half its
estimated original height.
of the ancient and historical Iranian cultural heritage
has been threatened or destroyed by dam construction and
other economic projects over the past few years.
Khuzestan, the Karun-3 Dam’s reservoir was filled late
last year, devouring most of the cultural heritage of
ancient Izeh forever. Archaeologists had identified 80
sites in the region from the Epipaleolithic period
(20,000-10,000 BC), including 13 caves and four rock
shelters. The river valley also has a large number of
rock-carved reliefs, graves, ancient caves, and other
monuments and artifacts from the Elamite era.
ancient site of Tang-e Bolaghi near Pasargadae
in Fars Province
will be another victim of the construction projects!
the Sivand Dam comes on stream on
February 1, 2006
at Tang-e Bolaghi, 129 ancient sites will be submerged
under mud and water.
part of the renowned imperial route to Persepolis
and Susa, Tang-e Bolaghi will be flooded by the
when the Sivand Dam is completed. Part of
will be buried under mud, and even the mausoleum of Cyrus
the Great is believed to be at risk. Tang-e Bolaghi
contains sites from the Neolithic and Palaeolithic
periods, the early, middle, and late Elamite era (2700-645
BC), and the Sasanid era (224-651 CE).
the present time, the CHTO is involved in a legal dispute
with the Isfahan
on the Jahan-Nama
Tower, which has been built near Naqsh-e Jahan Square. The historical square was registered on the UNESCO World
Heritage List in 1979.
spoils the horizontal view of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square
. Therefore UNESCO has called on the CHTO to modify the
tower before February 2006, otherwise the square will be
added to the UNESCO List of World Heritage in Danger.