The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- During
the excavation for laying water mains and supply pipes in the village of Jubaji
in February 2007, workers accidentally discovered a magnificent ancient
treasure. The hoard of jewels and precious stones were placed in a bronze
coffin. The majority of the objects are made of gold and date to 7th
and 6th centuries BCE, from the Perso-Elamite (Achaemenid’
pre-dynastic) to early Achaemenid dynastic Empire periods.
village of Jubaji is located near the city of Ramhormoz in Iran’s southwestern
province of Khuzestan.
discovered artefacts, majority Achaemenids are richly decorated including: a ring-of-power,
bracelets, cuffs, necklace, chain, charms, lockets, pendants, buttons, beads,
rings, pins, hit of ceremonial dagger or sword and various bronze human and animal
figurines. Some of the
jewelleries are adorned with agate, carnelian and other precious stones.
high quality of the artefacts belonging to various periods of Iranian history,
from Elamites to the Achaemenids demonstrates they were family heirlooms.
The presence of an Achaemenid style ‘ring of power’ among the objects
also indicates they were belonged to an affluent family who occupied a public office.
treasure was buried either by the family themselves during the 4th
century BCE to be kept safe from Alexander II and his looting army, or was
buried by the Greco-Macedonian looter, planning to return to retrieve them after
to this date the Islamic Republic authorities are reluctant to reveal the
treasure’s whereabouts and ensure the public about their safety.
the regime controlled Iran Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft
Organisation (ICHTHO), promised the priceless treasure will be shown to the
public in the Samimi Building in Ramhormoz’, a Qajar period mansion which has
been converted into a museum in recent years.
September ICHTHO issued a statement, reporting the artefacts had been restored
but would not be shown until security measures in the Samimi Building were in
place. To facilitate the show, the public donated generously to allow a costly
high-tech security system to be installed.
on and there is no sign of the artefacts in the new museum, or even any comment
from the regime on the whereabouts of the treasure, nor granted access to
trusted-cultural-figures to examine the priceless artefacts in order to ease the
public’s concerns about their fate.
fear that the main reason for the regime’s past excuses and current reluctance
is because the ancient Iranian treasures are no longer in the country and have
been sold to either international private collectors or museums.
Islamic Republic and illicit traffic of Iran’s Cultural Properties
1979 and the rise of theocratic-totalitarian Islamic regime to power, the
fundamentalists have initiated a programme of de-Iranianisation of the country.
The pre-Islamic Iranian heritage has been targeted and the historical and archaeological sites
damaged or destroyed by various methods – openly or under the guise of
development projects. In the meanwhile the mafia-style ruling clerics and their
families have been involved in the lucrative illicit trafficking of Iran’s
regime’s illicit activities mainly target pre-Islamic period of Iranian
history, including looting archaeological sites, stealing artworks from museums
and ethnological objects from rural areas have become frequent events in Islamic
Islamic republic’s abominable acts not only are endangering Iran’s
pre-Islamic heritage, but also endangering all the material and cultural traces
left by the mankind.
Traffic of Iranian artworks is a crime against human heritage. The cultural and police institutions such as ICOM, UNESCO and INTERPOL, which internationally are active in the fight against the looting of cultural property, unfortunately have closed their eyes to Iran’s issue – as the rest of the world have chosen to remain silent with the abuse of human rights in Iran, as their interest and trading with the Mullahs’ regime could be placed in jeopardy.
A leading Iranian cultural and heritage figure who lives in Iran and wished to remain anonymous for his safety, in speaking with CAIS warned the international private collectors and museums: “dealing or purchasing Iran’s national heritage, which has been smuggled out of Iran in recent decades are nothing but handling or buying stolen goods. It is immoral and illegal which should be stopped.”
He added: “sooner or later, after the inevitable fall of the despotic regime of Mullahs in Iran, the future free and democratic government of Iran, as the Israelis went after the Nazi criminals, we will go after these dealers and buyer to retrieve our national heritage. Rest assured we will make sure the guilty parties will be prosecuted in international courts.”
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