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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Iranian Heritage Deserves Better than a Factory Farm, a Concrete Water Storage Tank & Electricity Pylons


16 September 2009



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Two Parthian heads from Bardeh Neshandeh, Louvre

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Statue of a Parthian Princess from Bardeh Neshandeh, discovered during the road work in 2005.

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Relief of a standing man in Parthian hail posture from Masjed Soleiman

  (Click to enlarge)


LONDON, (CAIS) -- State run Khuzestan Electricity as well as Water and Sewage Companies have invaded the first and the immediate parameter of the Parthian site of Bardeh Neshandeh. Both companies have dug out and installed three high voltage electricity pylons, a concrete water storage tank and have laid down water pipes, reported the Persian website of the Friends of Khuzestan’s Cultural Heritage Society (TARIANA). 


“In an 300 hectare area, the Khuzestan Electricity Company have violated the protected zone of Bardeh Neshandeh historical site, and have installed three high voltage electricity pylons”, said Farid Kavosh, the head of the Friends of Masjed-Soleiman’s Cultural Heritage Society.


The electricity pylons are to provide Islamic Azad University with electricity, supplied from Godar Dam. For the installation of each pylon, over 120 sq. m. of earth from the historical site has been removed. No archaeological research has been carried out on the site, and perhaps a large number of cultural materials have been destroyed in the process of their illegal activities.


With regard to laying the water pipes to deliver water from Se-Godar to Tang-e Mo, the immediate parameter in the the eastern side of the sanctuary has been violated.


“On the east, the first parameter of the site water pipes were laid down in which Masjed-Soleiman Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organisation (MSCHTO) intervened and stopped their work”, said Kavosh.


Kavosh did not elaborate when the intervention by MSCHTO took place, but it seems it was after the laying of the pipes, whereby the irreversible damage was done.


The Islamic Republic organisations as well as some individuals who have no concern for Iranian national heritage are the main cause of the continuous damage to this historical site – and many alike across Iran.


According to Kavosh, the threats to this particular site are ranging from; construction of an asphalt road connecting Masjed-Soleiman to Andika over the site, installation of water pipes, construction of a large concrete water storage tank only five meters away from the main temple, construction of a sheep factory farm, theft of the site’s fences and the illegal excavations which are among the threats that the ancient site is facing everyday.


Bardeh Neshandeh is located 25 km east of the city of Masjed-Soleiman in Khuzestan Province, and is considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites in Iran.


The foundation of the site though could be Elamite, but is denoted to the Achaemenid dynastic period (550-330 BCE). The ancient site went under extensive reconstruction during the Parthian dynasty (248BCE-224CE) and therefore is considered to be Parthian.


The site consists of three distinctly separated areas, including the palace, a sanctuary complex to the east of the palace and the residential areas located in the north. The terraces of the main sanctuary were adorned with votive images of worshippers in Parthian hail posture, similar to other Parthian sites in Masjed-Soleim and Hatra (nowadays in Iraq).


The site is believed to have been belonged to an ancient Iranian cultic sect where religious rituals were held in open areas. This may be seen as similar to that of the modern Kafir/Kafiri’s ‘dancing places’ in Pakistan.




Original News bulletin published in Persian by website of TARIANA  - translated and rectified by CAIS [*]




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