While Iran's National Security Council is yet to decide on how to protect the relics of ancient Jiroft civilization south of Iran, a massive campaign to protect the artifact-rich area would be launched in a month, announced commander of Iranian Cultural Heritage Corps.
"A report prepared by Iranian Cultural heritage Organization (CHO) on the plunder of Jiroft artifacts has been submitted to the National Security Council, which is due to decide on best approaches to protect the monuments and relics," said Rahmatollah Raof. "Meanwhile we will launch safeguarding measures in a month because of the historical importance of the site."
He added that CHO has agreed to deal out $1.2 million to the corps in order to take appropriate protective measures as soon as possible.
The Jiroft civilization prospered along the 400-km-long Halil River, and archeologists have already discovered 400 sites along the route, making it an archeological heaven. In the second season of excavation, they have dug out some written tablets, dating back to 3,000 years ago. Jiroft came into spotlight nearly three years ago when extensive illegal excavations and plundering of the invaluable historical items of the area by local people surfaced. Since 2002, two excavation seasons have been carried out there, leading to the discovery of a ziggurat with more than four million mud bricks dating back to 2300 B.C.
The ancient sites in the area are among the richest in the country. Over the last two years, they have been subject to looting by treasure hunters. Some relics discovered there have found their way into the major auctions in the developed countries.
... Payvand News - 7/28/04 ... --