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UNESCO Assured About Choghazanbil Security


14 May 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Director of UNESCO World Heritage Center Francisco Bandrin is scheduled to visit Iran on May 18 to draw up a report on the suspension of oil exploration near Choghazanbil in Khuzestan province which is the site of an ancient ziggurat, CHN reported.

This is while the government has assured the international body that the plan to go ahead with the exploration operations has been shelved.

Confirming the news of Bandrin’s upcoming visit, Head of the provincial Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department in Khuzestan Sadeq Mohammadi said that the drilling small wells in the vicinity of Chogazanbil had led to UNESCO expressing concern about the cultural heritage site. “So, he will pay a one-day visit to Iran to inspect the area,“ said the official.

Sadeqi further said that Oil Ministry has moved all its exploration equipment out of the area and there are currently no operations being conducted in the region.

Meanwhile, head of Oil Company’s Geophysics Department, Mojtaba Mohammad-Khorsani said that following strong objections and reactions by the media and public, the company ended its operations in the area and relocated them to regions near Ilam.

Chogha Zanbil is a major monument of the Elamite civilization, which was constructed in the city of Dur Untash . It is located near Susa , the ancient capital of Elam , and was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978.


Built about 1250 BCE under the direction of the Elamite ruler Untash-Gal during the Middle Elamite period (c.1500–1000 BCE), 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.






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Related News: 

25 Oct 2005: Oil Exploration Threatening Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat

31 Oct 2005: Khuzestan cultural officials call on Parliment & UNESCO to save Chogha Zanbil

12 Nov 2005: Choghazanbil Explosions May Be Related to Islamic Revolutionary Guards' Exercise



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