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Identifying 300 Historical Sites in Khuzestan


21 February 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Archaeological researches in Iranian province of Khuzestan led into identifying 300 prehistoric and historic sites in the vicinity of city of Ramhormoz, the most ancient one dates back to the 8th millennium BCE. The discoveries came while experts of the provincial department of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization in Khuzestan (KCHTO) have started their work since one month ago in an attempt to prepare the archaeological map of the province.


“Rāmhormōz, is the first city in Khuzestan province which we have chosen to start our researches for preparing the archaeological map. The stunning point in this regard is that during such a short period the archaeology team has succeeded in identifying some 300 historical sites just in a part of the city, which bring into light the archaeological richness of the area and Khuzestan province,” explained Hosseini, director of the research centre of KCHTO.


According to Hosseini, these 300 discovered areas are consisted of various historical sites including hills and architectural remains which ranging in date from the prehistoric to historic periods, among which some Elamite (3400-550 BCE), Parthian (248 BCE-224 CE) and post-Sasanian (651 CE afterwards) remains have been identified. Evidence shows that all the discovered constructions must have belonged to residential settlements and fortresses date back to the Qajar dynastic era (1787-1921).


Located in southwest of Iran, Khuzestan is one of the most ancient Iranian provinces which is often referred to as the birthplace of the nation, since this is where the Persians, one of the branches of Aryan tribes, first settled and assimilated into the native Elamite population and thus laying the foundation for the future dynastic empires of Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid. Agricultural and development projects in Khuzestan are a real threat to historical sites of the province, a large number of which have not been identified yet. Khuzestan has border with Iraq and the Persian Gulf.


Based on previous programs, experts are currently working on preparing a map on which distribution of archaeological sites in different Iranian provinces including Khuzestan is pinned down in an effort to protect them against possible damages caused by development projects in the country. However, cutting the budget for preparing the archaeological map of the country in next year’s Iranian budget calendar which have been decided upon during the last few days by Iran’s parliament due to the negligence of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), to give a comprehensive record of its projects in year 1386 (Iranian calendar) has brought the future for continuing this project in an ambiguity. 


ICHTO negligence is due the fact that it runs by incompetent administration and their lack of expertise in the field.


"Unfortunately since 1979 the criteria of choosing executives and authority figures are not based on their level of education or their expertise, instead it is because on one’s level of devotion to the Islamic regime and sadly ICHTO is not exempt from this equation" said an archaeologist working with ICHTO, who wished to remain anonymous for his safety.


He further added that  "It is only in Iran where a cleric whose job is to go to funeral, religiously preach from a culprit or alike proceedings would then becomes in charge of the Archaeological Research Centre; - such an organisation that requires an expert and educated individual to run. For instance the Chief Executive of English Heritage is Dr Simon Thurley who was held number of posts before moving to English Heritage, including being the director of Museum of London which took years of painstaking  education and research to reach his current position. However, in comparison to his  counterpart in our country,  occupies his post, just because he is close friend of the president, and could pray in Arabic from the dept of his throat - these are the criteria of being in charge of a nation in modern Iran" 


He concluded, "ICHTO, and many other organisations alike, do not need a religious figures or a perfectionists in the art of praying, rather we desperately require educated executives and experts within these related fields, and until these uneducated individuals remain at their current posts,

ICHTO and subsequently Iranian heritage would suffer immensely."



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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, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.




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