A defunct sewage system is posing a fatal threat to an ancient three-story underground city in Noush Abad, near the central Iranian city of Kashan, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.
"The local people have dug out wells to dump their sewage and now not only the whole city of Noushabad is floating on sewage, but also the leakage is threatening a newly-discovered underground city, bearing relics from the Sassanid dynasty (226-651) to the Safavid era (1501-1722)," said Zahra Sarokhani, head of the research team.
She called on municipality officials to build a new sewage system as soon as possible because the leakage has damaged some walls and provided a habitat for pests, estimating the project would require over $500,000 of public funds.
The city features labyrinth-like architectural structures, starting 2.5 meters under the surface and running 18 meters deep. Noush Abad residents had been reporting about underground corridors and chambers when they were digging wells in their yards for sewage, since most Iranian cities lack a sewage network.
Working on the tip-off, archeologists started digging the area, but to their chagrin, they failed to find any clue, until during the second week of excavation, an 18-year-old digger by the name of Ali Reza Khabbazi did finally discovered something that turned out to be an underground city, whose three stories are interconnected by several flights of stairs.
Next year the research team intends to ask sociologists and anthropologists for help to determine the lifestyle of the inhabitants.
Kashan is an oasis city lying in a desert at the eastern foot of the Central Iranian Range. Kashan was earlier an important station on an important caravan route between Kerman and Isfahan. Kashan has several ancient monuments. Most famous are the mausoleum of Shah Abbas 1, the 12th century Friday Mosque and the Safavid royal buildings southwest of the city centre.
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