The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- The
Sasanian site known as the Tappeh Asiyab-Abad (āsiyāb-ābād, the
Flourishing Mill), located in the centre of the city of Ahvaz in Iran’s
southwestern province of Khuzestan, is on the verge of total destruction and no
action has yet been taken to protect it.
mound (tappeh in Persian) is neither registered on the national heritage site list, nor is
demarcated to establish its’ historical boundaries.
historical mound of Asiyab-Abad, along with the a rock-burial in Hasir-Abad
District, the foundation of Pol-e Siyah (Black Bridge), and Khorramkushk are
within the historical limitations of the
Sasanian city of Hormoz Ardashir (modern Ahvaz).
site is only 2000 meters away from the Darvazeh metro station in the Persian
Gulf Square. The telecommunication and high voltage electricity pylons have been
erected over the site with no respect for it historical importance. The mound is
also is being used as a shortcut by pedestrians and motorcyclists.
addition, after any rainfall more of the ancient layers wash away and the
artefacts including potshards are being exposed, and some are even being taken
away by the public.
some sections of the mound have already been destroyed as the result of
constructions of roads, mini-markets, residential houses and governmental
offices – a new permit for housing construction was issued last year to the
local-government ran Housing Consortium to flatten the 1800-year-old mound. The
construction-permit apparently was challenged by Khuzestan Cultural Heritage,
Tourism and Handicraft Department (KCHTHD).
Iranian archaeologist with KCHTHD who wished to remain anonymous for his safety
in an email to CAIS said: “the permit being issued for building construction
to the Housing Consortium, and the KCHTHD gallantly going to rescue, challenging
the permit was more like a puppet-show. The story was propagated to give some
sort of credibility to the incompetent KCHTHD, which supposedly is responsible
for the protection of Iranian heritage in the province.”
continues: “Iran Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Organisation (ICHTHO)
has the job of protecting Iranian heritage sites; - the organisation and its’
provincial departments including KCHTHD are controlled and run by the regime’s
trusted people, with neither educational nor any affiliation or knowledge to
‘culture’ or ‘heritage’ fields or backgrounds. The sole purpose of
taking control of ICHTHO by the regime is to erase the entire pre-Islamic
Iranian heritage without resistance.”
concluded: “regrettably, the people that run our country today are divided
into two groups – ‘thieves’ and ‘superstitious-graveworshippers’. The
first, are Superstitious-graveworshippers like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad whose
education is limited to stating ‘Britain is a country in West-Africa’. These
are a bunch of reactionary-illiterates who want to create an
illusive-puritan-Islamic society on earth by any means, including destruction,
rape, torture and mass-murder. These people strongly believe the pre-Islamic
Iranian heritage, the Persian language and the West are the main obstacles to
their cause – therefore they must be neutralised; – The second group are the
‘thieves’, who mainly are the clerics and their families in power, busy
flattering their foreign bank-accounts at the expense of the Iranian nation.
However, both groups have few things in common: both hate Iran, the Iranians,
the Iranian-culture and heritage.”
during the construction of a new metro station in Ahvaz, the workers
discovered a number of foundation-columns made of stone and other artefacts,
which all were transferred to KCHTHD for safe keeping. The following day KCHTHD
denied their existence and the department’s director, Parviz Pur-Farrokhi
claimed the stones were building wastes and the alleged pillars were not bigger
than a biro.
date, the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared artefacts remain unknown.
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