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Oil Exploration Destroys Ancient Sites in Seimareh Dam Reservoir Area


18 October 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- A number of archaeological sites have recently been destroyed in the Seimareh Dam reservoir area during exploration activities by the National Iranian Oil Company.


However, Archaeology Research Center of Iran (ARCI) Director Mohammad-Hassan Fazeli Nashli denied reports that a permit for the operation was issued, the Persian service of CHN reported on Wednesday.


During a series of rescue excavations, a team of archaeologists has recently identified 100 ancient sites from various eras, including the Neolithic, Bronze, and Copper ages and the Parthian, Sasanian dynastic eras as well as post-Sasanian priod in the Seimareh Dam reservoir area in western Iran’s Ilam Province.


Ilam Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department Director Fereidun Mohammadi has declined to give any explanation of the situation and bizarrely said that the region is located in the perimeter of Lorestan Province.


The Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) will sue NIOC for damages if the destroyed sites were previously registered by the organization, CHTHO official Siavash Saberi said.


The Seimareh Dam, which has been constructed on the Seimareh River, is located 30 kilometers northwest of the city of Darehshahr. The filling of the dam has been scheduled to commence by the end of the Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2008).


Initial studies for the dam project began in the early 1970s and were completed in 1990. The double-arch dam has a concrete structure and a crest height of 180 meters above its lowest foundation.


ARCI Director Fazeli Nashli believes that the archaeological sites discovered in the Seimareh Dam reservoir area are more important than the ancient sites being devoured by the Sivand Dam in southern Iran’s Fars Province.


Many Iranian and international teams took part in the Archaeological Rescue Excavations of the Bolaghi Valley, a project that was implemented to save artifacts and glean information from over 130 ancient sites of the valley, which are currently being flooded by the reservoir of the Sivand Dam. 


Regarding the oil explorations in this region, Mahmood a local farmer  said: "we are not happy what they [Islamic Republic] are doing to our ancestors' lands and our heritage. They say it is imperative for our economy to find new oil resources - the question is for who they are doing it for? Defiantly not for our peoples. We don't see any of these monies - we get poorer and thinner by the day, but the Mullhas and their families are getting fatter and richer by the hour - our oil monies is either ending up in the Mullahs' private bank accounts in the West or end up in Palestine and Iraq to make a better life for Arabs or terrorist activities. It seems we made a revolution to destroy our country and create a heaven for Arabs, Mullahs and their foreign masters."





Extracted From/Source*: Mehr News - Edited by Shapour Suren-Pahlav


*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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