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Iran: Football teams trampling on ancient sites of Susa

Tehran, July 12, IRNA-And here come the passionate fans once again to cheer their favorite football teams playing in the ancient Susa.

No need to worry. Only three football fields have been established in the ancient city of Susa, hosting many young teams and fans every day, said the English-language daily `Tehran Times' on Tuesday.

Natural disasters, the construction of dams and smugglers were not enough of a threat to the ancient sites, so the football fields were added to complete the mission.

Archaeologists are once again warning about the threat the ancient city of Susa is facing due to the daily football games at the sites.

Installing goals posts was not such a big threat compared to the catastrophe that occurred when some people pretending to be fans illegally excavated the area while teams were playing football.

Saeid Mohammadpour, a legal affairs official of the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department, said on Monday that the installation of goal posts at the sites as well as the contentious traffic of fans will surely cause Susa to lose its chance to be registered on the World Heritage List.

To add insult to injury, over eighty percent of the historical sites of the Susa region, including Eivan-e Karkheh and Haft-Tappeh, are currently being used for agricultural purposes and some parts of Eivan-e Karkheh have been turned into a garbage dump.

Susa is one of the oldest known settlements of the region, probably founded about 4000 BC, through the first traces of an inhabited village date back to 7000 BC and evidence of a painted pottery civilization dates back to 5000 BC, according to Wikepedia.

Susa was an important flourishing city in ancient times and was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Elam.

The city was captured by Persian King Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, and Darius I, who ruled from 522 to 486 BC, made it the administrative capital of the Persian Empire abd built a great palace there.

Susa is also mentioned in the Old Testament as one of the places where the Prophet Daniel (PBUH) lived. His tomb is located in the heart of the city.

The ruins of the palace of Darius are impressive and a great number of inscriptions and friezes have been found at the site.

A stele of the Code of Hammurabi was discovered at Susa in 1901 by the French Orientalist Jean-Vincent Scheil and is now on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

... Payvand News - 7/13/05 ... --

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