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Sandstorm Blocks Entrances to Iran's Burnt City

A nasty sandstorm has blocked entrances to the mysterious Burnt City southeast of Iran and filled up excavated pits, archeologists lamented, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.

The scorching sun has dried out the Hamoon Lake in Sistan-Baluchistan province, thus helping the temperature soar and the sandstorm obstruct the entrances.

"Right now archeologists cannot enter the historical site because a massive sand basin has covered it," said Mohammad Khosravi, manager of the Burnt City.

Noting a ferocious battle between the man and nature in the dry land, he said the sandstorm has damaged the historical fabric of the old city of Zahedan, the capital city of Sistan-Baluchistan.

The 5,000-years-old history of the Burnt City makes it one of the largest and most ancient sites in the Middle East. Various industrial and residential units, as well as cemeteries and monumental relics litter its 151 hectares of land.

Signs of civilization, first laid down in the Burnt City in 3200 B.C., remained intact up to 2100-2000 B.C. and during four successive periods in history. One of the prominent relics found in the Burnt City is a skull believed to be the first evidence of brain surgeries in prehistoric Persia.

Experts had earlier estimated a thorough identification and documentation of an astounding 4 billion artifacts in the Burnt City would require some 400 years, at least. Archeologists have already managed to document and profile 102 villages of the sprawling city, located south of Zabol in the eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

... Payvand News - 8/21/04 ... --

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