The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
LONDON, (CAIS) -- A team of archaeology students from Marvdasht Azad University confirmed the destruction of the Achaemenid dynastic era Gondashlu stone quarry following research they have recently conducted on the site.
The study was carried out after the Fars Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (FCHTHD) denied a report announcing the extensive devastation of the stone quarry in early August by recent mining operations. FCHTHD in that statement falsely claimed that archeology experts have visited the site and have found no evidence of mining operations. The statement also says that mining operations near Gondashlu were stopped six months ago after miners
The FCHTHD also refuted any historical importance for the quarry. However, they falsely claimed they have prevented further mining operations at the site.
The license for mining operations was issued by the Islamic Republic Ministry of Industrials and Minerals. Back in 2006, the ministry has issued a statement and claimed no license will ever be issued for mining operations, in any of the ancient quarries in the province.
The quarry is important for the stone it provided for building Persepolis.
“If the quarry is not historically important as the FCHTHD claimed, then why have they prevented mining operations at the site?” the students asked in their report published by the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.
New cuts on the rocks show that the stone quarry is still in use and the quarry has recently been disrupted, the report said.
A number of Parthian and Sasanian dynastic tombs built nearby are also being threatened by the mining operations, it warned.
The students also said that they are prepared to submit the necessary documents providing the evidence documenting the destruction taking place at the stone quarry.
The Gondashlu stone quarry is located 60 kilometres southwest of Persepolis near Shiraz in Fars Province.
During the 1960s, U.S. professor of Iranian archaeology William M. Sumner of the University of Pennsylvania discovered that the Achaemenid engineers used the quarry as a source of material for the construction of Persepolis.
The Achaemenids used two types of stone to build Persepolis, one was black in colour and the other grey, archaeologist Mohammad-Taqi Ataii has previously explained.
The black stones were brought exclusively from the Majdabad quarry and the grey ones were extracted from ten other quarries in the region, one of which was the Gondashlu stone quarry, he added.
Experts believe that upcoming restoration work at Persepolis can only be properly carried out by using stones from the Gondashlu quarry, but the opportunity will be lost if the new mining operations there are allowed to continue.
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