Qom Renovation Project Turns into a Devastating One
By Ladan M.
Tehran, 26 November 2006 (CHN) -- The project to
renovate historic texture of Qom, Tehran’s neighboring province, has now become
a devastating one, destroying large areas of the 6000-year-old site of Shad Qoli
and other old sites of this province as well as the areas which had remained
intact for long.
Qom’s historic texture
The Ammar Yaser Project was initiated last year to restore
Qom’s historic texture. However, lack of expertise in implementation of the
project has led into destruction of the area’s historic sites.
“Many years ago, the Ammar Yaser Project, backed by the
provincial municipality and governor office, could win the approval of members
of the Iranian Parliamentary Commission for Article 5 to the renovation of the
historic texture of Qom. Following the issuance of this approval, which is not
completely unambiguous, the project was initiated. Implementation of this
project destroyed the historical and intact texture of Qom,” said Mohammad
Kavousi, an archeologist and expert of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department
of Qom province.
Widening of the historical sites of Qom by project executors
led into accidental discovery of Shad Qoli ancient site which is dated to the
prehistoric era. However, despite the fact that archeologists repeatedly
stressed the historic importance of this ancient site, continuation of
activities in the area led into destruction of this 6000-year-old site.
“As soon as we were informed of the destruction of the
prehistoric site of Shad Qoli, we reported the case to Iran’s Archeology
Research Center for further follow-ups,” said Jalil Golshan, director of Office
of Historic Sites of Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization
Before and right after the discovery of the ancient site of
Shad Qoli, archeologists went to the area and emphasized the necessity for
excavating the entire area for an additional term. According to these
archeologists, the recent changes in the management of the Archeology Research
Center brought a two month delay to excavations in this site. In the meantime,
the Ammar Yaser project was resumed and almost completely destroyed the ancient
site of Shad Qoli before archeologists got a chance to study the area.
Sadly enough, Shad Qoli is not the only victim of this
destructive project as bulldozers continue to level off other historic sites and
archeological remains of Qom.
“There are a number of big historical houses belonging to the
Qajar dynastic era (1787-1921 AD) lying on the path of the project, that are
worthy of being registered as national heritage, all of which will be reduced to
rubble should the implementation of Ammar Yasser project continue,” said
Asked about the reasons these historic houses were never
registered in the list of Iran’s National Heritage before, Kavousi explained:
“It has been four years since we started first attempts to register these
historic houses with the help of some cultural heritage experts. However, we
encountered many difficulties along the way, which is why the historic monuments
of Shad Qoli were registered.”
From the very few discoveries made by archeologists in the
historic site of Shad Qoli before it was further destroyed by the Ammar Yaser
project, archeologists concluded that the area holds invaluable traces of the
4th millennium BC. More important information could be extracted from
this ancient site if archeologists were given enough time to study the
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