The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- Persepolis,
once the capital of the mighty Persian Empire; the massive mud-brick Bam
citadel and the Isfahan's Naqsh-e Jahan (Shah) square are among the nine listed World Heritage Sites in Iran. Yet leading
archaeologists are urging colleagues to refuse any military requests to draw up
a list of Iranian sites that should be exempted from air strikes.
advice would provide cultural credibility and respectability to the military
action," said a resolution agreed by the World Archaeological Congress in
Dublin, Ireland, last week. Instead, delegates were advised to emphasise the
harm that any military action would do to Iran's people and heritage.
the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, bombing damaged important monuments, including
the Al-Zohur Palace in Baghdad, and museums and archaeological sites were later
looted - even though archaeologists had been consulted in advance.
these archaeologists had little impact in terms of saving even the few selected
archaeological sites listed, what did they achieve?" asks Yannis Hamilakis
of the University of Southampton, UK.
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