Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS OF IRANIAN WORLD©
of Funding Leads to Devastation of Gilvan Ancient Site
08 August 2006
(CAIS) -- Despite efforts made by the authorities of
Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Ardabil
province, no budget has yet been allocated to conducting
archeological excavations in the prehistoric site of
Gilvan, located in the Iranian northwestern province of
Ardabil. This is while the provincial authorities
succeeded in obtaining an official statement, allowing
excavations on the site; however, due to lack of budget,
excavations have not yet started. This has resulted in the
gradual destruction of the ancient artifacts found in this
historic site as they are now exposed to intense sunlight
and seasonal rains and storms.
The story started almost three months ago when
construction workers accidentally discovered a number of
artifacts in Gilvan, including three gold coated metal
daggers, 25 pieces of clays, ornamental beads, and several
armaments together with the remains of a number of
skeletons. Constructions in this part of the village
stopped and archeologists were called to verify that this
part of the village contains historic evidence. Later, it
became clear that the site was the location of an ancient
cemetery and Iran’s Archeology Research Center as well
as Ardabil’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department
prepared a report and asked for a certificate to be issued
for the start of excavations by archeologists in the area.
However, carrying out any excavations in this site
required funding which was not provided by Iran’s
cultural heritage authorities, leading into concerns to
rise for the fate of these ancient artifacts.
Last week, Hassan Fazeli Nashli, director of Iran’s
Archeology Research Center, announced that he issued the
certificate which gave archeologists the go-ahead to start
their job at Gilvan’s historic site. However, according
to Reza Rezalou, head of the archeology team that was
dispatched to this ancient site, after only a weak of
excavations on the site, archeologists realized that no
budget has been allotted to their works and therefore
“Since this area was discovered by accident, no budget
had been envisaged for it by the Archeology Research
Center. However, we were hoping that once we obtain
official permission for the excavations, the budget would
be provided by ICHTO, which unfortunately never
happened,” said Yahya Naghizadeh, head of the Cultural
Heritage Police Department of Ardabil province.
The historic site of Gilvan was discovered during
construction works to widen a road in this village.
Ancient relics found in this site date back its existence
to as far back as 1000 BCE.
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