Tehran, Iran: Sassanid city in southwest Iran imperiled

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Sassanid city in southwest Iran imperiled
Tehran Times Culture Desk

TEHRAN — Various human and natural factors are threatening the ruins of a Sassanid city located near Band Qir village in Khuzestan Province.

Flooding of the Gargar River has caused serious damage to the site. In addition, illegal excavations by smugglers, construction projects, and agricultural activities imperil the historical city, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported on Saturday.

Although the site was registered on the National Heritage List in 1931, it has not been demarcated.

Excavating machines and graders working for a road construction project and an irrigation project periodically destroy portions of the site, Khuzestan Cultural Heritage Enthusiasts Society (Taryana) spokesman Mojtaba Gahestuni said.

In addition, some parts of the site are still used for farming activities by locals, he added.

According to Gahestuni, Iranian cultural officials declined to provide 600 million rials (about $60,000) for the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (KCHTHD) for demarcation of the site last year.

He said that the KCHTHD doesn’t have the necessary funds to pursue lawsuits against offenders. As a result, destruction of the cultural heritage of the province continues unabated.

The Sassanid city reached its zenith in the centuries after the Sassanid dynasty was destroyed by the Arabs in the years 637–651.

Photo: Smugglers have created an excavation at the ruins of the Sassanid city in Khuzestan Province. (Photo by Mehr)

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