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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Threat From Shiraz-Isfahan Railway Shifts to Rahmatabad Tappeh


20 January 2009



LONDON, (CAIS) -- The construction of the Shiraz-Isfahan railway line, which was previously threatening the ancient Naqsh-e Rustam site in Fars Province, now imperils the ancient strata of the Rahmatabad Tappeh.


The railway line is to pass at a distance of 10 meters from the Rahmatabad Tappeh and archaeologists believe that the constant vibration from passing trains would eventually damage the ancient strata and artefacts buried in the mound.


“The latest excavations on the Rahmatabad Tappeh in 2006 led to the discovery of a large number of ancient shards and kilns, and an important industrial site dating back to the 5th millennium BCE,” Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research Director Mohammad-Hassan Fazeli Nashli told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday.


“Although the kilns are buried under earth, they will be destroyed due to the weakness of their mud-brick construction if the railway line is allowed to pass near the site,” he added.


Discovery of three kinds of kilns, one of which is two-story, shows that the region was an important centre for mass-producing pottery works to be used in other regions in the vicinity, Fazeli Nashli noted.


In 2006, the railway line threatened the Achaemenid dynastic sites of Naqsh-e Rustam, home to the tombs of the Achaemenid kings Darius the Great, his son Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, and Darius II, and several other sites dating back to the Elamite and Sasanian dynastic eras.


The railway right-of-way was to pass at a distance of about 350 meters from Naqsh-e Rustam. The distance was increased to over one kilometre following the objections raised by the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organisation and the Parsa and Pasargadae Research Foundation.






Some information for this report was extracted from: Mehr News [*]




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