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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Most of the Achaemenid Gondashlu Stone Quarry Destroyed


14 August 2009



LONDON, (CAIS) -- One of the most important Achaemenid quarries in Fars Province known as Gondashlu which provided the stone for building Persepolis has been destroyed, and its usefulness now been lost, reported the Persian Service of CHN on Saturday.


According to the report over 70% of invaluable quarry has already been destroyed by a stone company.  The stone company is licensed by the Islamic Republic Ministry of Industrials and Minerals.


The license was issued contrary to the ministry’s statement back in March 2006 that no licence will ever be issued for mining operations, in any of the ancient quarries in the province.


“New mining operations at Gondashlu which is located 60 kilometres south of Persepolis started a few years ago, but they have recently expanded their operations”, said researcher and Achaemenid specialist Mohamad Taqi Ataee.


He continued “a warning was previously given to the company’s management, and asked them to reduce their operations. Not only did the operations continue but they also expanded and have destroyed 70% of the ancient mine.”


With regard to the importance of the site Ataee said “archaeological studies in Persepolis have shown that for the construction of the monument they have used black and grey stones. Majdabad Quarry provided them with black stones, and the grey ones were brought from over tens of quarries in the area, of which Gondashlu quarry is one of.”


Upcoming restoration work at Persepolis can only be properly carried out by using stones from the Gondashlu mine, but the opportunity will be lost if the mining operations which are currently underway at Gondashlu continue, Ataii stated.


The quarry is important both as a source of historical information that provides a better understanding of mining techniques during the Achaemenid dynasty (550-330 BCE), and as a resource for the restoration of the Persepolis.


Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (ICHTO) which is responsible for the protection of the Iranian heritage has taken no action to prevent this.






Portions of this news have been excerpted from the Persian service of CHN and Mehr News - translated and rectified by CAIS. [*]




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