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Secret Passageways of Sassanian' Da va Dokhtar to be Identified


26 September 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of the city of Ramhormoz in Khuzestan province has asked for archeological studies and excavations in the Sassanid fortress of Da va Dokhtar (Mother and Daughter’) to obtain more information about its historic background prior to the start of restoration works, anticipated to take place in a near future.


Fardin Bigdeli, director of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Ramhormoz considered the excavations in this historical site essential and said: “We proposed to the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization to consider archeological studies on this fortress before the start of renovation. The existing information about this fortress is insufficient and based on its exterior architecture and stories by the locals, the fortress must have some unknown underground passages and different architectural styles which must be discovered.”


Bigdeli also said that the assumption is based on information provided mostly by the locals who have seen parts of the underground passageways. However, due to the largely extended area of the fortress and the dangers of exploration, no one has ever been able to explore all these underground passageways.


Existing evidence shows that there used to be several rooms in the surrounding area of this fortress which were covered with soil over time. These rooms were later discovered by illegal diggers who plundered what was left inside by digging some pits.


According to Bigdeli, once archeologists finish their studies on the lower levels of the fortress, the Sassanid fortress will go under renovation and the sections destroyed by natural forces as well as explosions caused by a nearby plaster company. 


The Da va Dokhtar Fortress, built on the mountain-skirts of a gypsum mountain, which since 1981 it was rocked by a series of explosions set off by a company producing plaster. The activities of the plaster company were detrimental to the fortress and since a section of the fortress was leveled to the ground.


Six years ago, this fortress was registered as a national cultural heritage site and thus it was the responsibility of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) to preserve this unique Sassanid heritage. Therefore, a lawsuit was filed by ICHTO against the company to stop its activities in the vicinity of the Da va Dokhtar Fortress which put an end to decades of explosive activities near this Sassanid monument. 


Currently, an inconsiderable budget, equivalent of US $35,000 has already been allocated to renovating the fortress from the province’s share of rich oil revenue. However, ICHTO is hopelessly trying to convince the court to ask the owners of the company for compensations for the damages caused to be used for the renovation of the fortress.


"Miras [ICHTO] is just talk and no action - they couldn't stop the plaster company from years of mining and constant explosions, 400 meters away from the fortress, how on the earth they expect to get compensation from them? The owners of the plaster company have strong backing in high places - they have caused lots of damages, which the wealth of the world cannot replace the destroyed fortress for us. The owners of the company should be trialled for treachery and destruction of our heritage, which a death sentence serve them right", said Abdolali a furious and concerned local.


The Fortress, is located 5 kilometers north of the city of Ramhormoz in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which was constructed during the Sassanid dynastic era (224–651 CE). The fortress was consisted of two parts, one of which has completely been ruined. There used to be a rampart connecting the two parts of this fortress which was 4 meters in height and had 30 wall-towers, from which not much has remained.



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Extracted From/Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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