The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
By Shapour Suren-Pahlav
(CAIS) -- The ancient city of Susa is renowned for
its thousands of years of history and its resident-archaeologists are angry and
tearful as the Islamic republic has rubbed them out of their heritage.
Last week a hotel construction company
belonging to the prominent members of the Islamic Republic bulldozed out 10,000
sq.m. of the pre-Islamic ancient Iranian site of Susa in order to prepare a
foundation for construction of a hotel.
Experts have dated the destroyed strata to
the late Parthian (248BCE -224 CE) and Sasanian (224-651 CE) dynasties.
The dug out area is 100x100 metres wide
and 6 meters deep. During the excavation a human skeleton most probably being
either Parthian or Sasanian, large Partho-Sasanian earthenware vessels, a large
number of Partho-Sasanian potsherds and other relics were taken away and
The illegal permit for construction of
Laleh Hotel was issued by Khuzestan’s Province Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts
and Tourism Organisation (KCHHTO).
Speaking with journalists in Tehran,
Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and
Tourism Organisation (ICHHTO) on Sunday, asserted the wrongdoers will be
prosecuted. Although it was Rahim-Mashaei himself who attended the
commencing-ceremony along with the director of KCHHTO, and ordered the
construction to begin.
add insult to injury, when Rahim-Mashaei was questioned by
journalists about his participant in the destruction of the site, the director
of ICHHTO, claimed that he was not aware of the historical importance of the
Susa was registered on Iran’s national
heritage site in 1930s and every elementary school child in Iran knows the
historical importance of Susa and its special place in Iranian history and
According to the archaeologists with the
Susa Research Centre, the dug out earth from the site was taken away to a secret
location unknown to them, perhaps to destroy any traces of pre-Islamic Iranian
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