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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©


 

Illegal Excavations in Mazandaran

 

 

 

02 September 2005

 

An official said smugglers of antiquities are carrying out illegal excavations in Mazandaran province for precious artifacts.


The province has a 3,500-year civilization and smugglers are digging in graveyards dating back to the Iron Age, CHN also reported on Tuesday.


Ali Mahforouzi, head of the Mazandaran bureau of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, said the antiquities being smuggled from the province are dating back to 3,500 years.


He added that smugglers have targeted Iron-Age graveyards to unearth ornaments, metal antiques, earrings and bracelets.


“The extent of digging is very surprising. Smugglers have dug about 1,500 holes in every 1,000 square-meter area. They have dug nearly 100,000 holes in the historical sites of Mazandaran province,“ he said.


“Since they are not expert, at times they break potteries found in graves during excavations at nighttime.“


Mahforouzi called on the police to stop illegal digging in the historical sites of the province.