Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World
SCHC Urges Approval of Susa Demarcation
(CAIS) -- Shush Cultural Heritage Center (SCHC) director called on cultural officials to accelerate the process of ratifying the demarcation for the ancient city of Susa in southeastern Iran.
Based on the demarcation, all governmental organizations must observe the regulations for safeguarding the site, Mohammadreza Chitsaz told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday.
According to Chitsaz, the proposal for the demarcation was placed before the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization
(ICHTHO) about two months ago, but it has been impeded by bureaucracies.
The demarcation, which designates an area of 1200 hectares for Susa, has been carried out by a team of archaeologists to end a series of governmental construction projects threatening the site.
A construction project for a hotel by families of ruling clerics encroached upon the perimeter in May 2007. A 100x100 meter area was excavated to a depth of 6 meters during the project that was authorised by the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department and was endorsed by
ICHTHO director Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaei.
According to SCHC witnesses, Partho-Sasanian strata and shards were seen on the walls of the hole. The strata and many artefacts were destroyed and the earth excavated by loaders has been transferred to an unknown location by trucks.
The project has since been abandoned because it is located in an area claimed by the Khuzestan Road Office.
Rahim-Mashaei asked his office to investigate the case in order to determine the people responsible for damages to the site. However, this matter does not require any investigation as the guilty parties are known to
the public including the hotel owners, the director of Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (KCHTHO) and Rahim-Mashaei himself who endorsed the hotel construction and attended the construction’s commencing-ceremony.
Susa has also been threatened by vandals. The column bases of Susa’s Apadana Palace were demolished by vandals in January 2008.
The palace perimeter was also demolished by construction of a preparatory school. The building, which is to be four stories tall, will spoil the view of the profile of the palace ruins.
In addition, the historical metropolis of Susa is being obliterated by construction of a passenger bus terminal in the city’s southern section by the Islamic Republic, and three football fields that host many young teams and fans every day.
Susa was an ancient city in the Elamite, Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian dynastic empires of Iran, located about 150 miles east of the Tigris River in Iranian province of Khuzestan.
As well as being an archaeological site, Susa is also mentioned in the Old Testament as one of the places where the Daniel lived. His tomb is located in the heart of the city.
Susa is one of the oldest known settlements in the region, probably founded around 4000 BCE, though the first traces of an inhabited village date back to 7000 BCE.
Susa was destroyed at least four times in its’ long history. The first was in 647 BCE, by the Assyrian
king Assurbanipal; the second destruction took place in 331BCE by Alexander of Macedon; the third destruction was done in 638 CE, by the Moslem’s invading armies and
finally in 1218, the city was completely destroyed by invading Mongols.
The ancient city was gradually abandoned in the years that followed - and now its' remains witnesses the last blow to its existence by the Islamic regime and Arab settlers if the province.
is the Light on the Path to Future"
British Institute of Persian Studies