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Sassanid Salasel Fort Threatened by Government Organizations

By Soudabeh Sadigh

In the past few years, several governmental organizations have turned Sustar's Salasel Fortress into their storage house, a fact that continues to threaten this Sassanid monument.

Salasel Fortress in Sustar, northwest Iran,
dates back to the Sassanid period, nearly
17 centuries ago

Tehran, 27 December 2006 (CHN) -- Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Sustar is trying to get legal support for freeing the Salasel Fortress which has for years been changed into a storage area for keeping goods by different organizations including the Sugar Organization, Iran's Drug Control Headquarter, and Imam Khomeini Relief Fund. The Fortress was built during the Sassanid dynastic era (224-651 AD) in the southwestern province of Khuzestan.

Announcing this news Mohammad Hossein Arastoozadeh, director of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Sustar explained: "For many years this Sassanid Fortress did not have any legal custodian and therefore it was not well preserved. During these years, some parts of this fort including its Safavid section were changed into storage areas by different organizations."

According to Arastoozadeh, the activities of these organizations, especially some restoration works done without consulting experts in renovation of ancient monuments, have greatly altered the historic architectural style of this fortress.

Considering that Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization has recently been granted the ownership of this Sassanid fort, Arastoozadeh believes that the legal department of the Organization has to take charge for protecting the fortress and preventing further damages. "We have also asked the support of the Sustar Governor Office and the provincial Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department," added Arastoozadeh.

He further announced that the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Sustar is determined to provide cultural/tourism facilities in the fortress and change it into a tourism destination in Khuzestan province.

Salesel Fortress is located on a hill overlooking Shatit River in the city of Sustar. During the Sassanid dynastic period, water from the river passed beneath the fortress and was directed into different parts of the city. The fortress was in use until the Qajar period (1787-1921 AD) as a center for managing the water of the river.

Salasel Fortress has largely been devastated due to several conflicts that occurred in the region as well as natural disasters such as flood and earthquake. Yet it remains a precious source of information for archeologists who have thus far found numerous historic evidences in this ancient fortress.

... Payvand News - 12/30/06 ... --

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