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Qom Renovation Project Turns into a Devastating One

By Ladan M. Sadeghioon
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 hastily being
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 (ICHTO).
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 Kavousi.
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 area.
The 6000-Year-Old Site of Shad Qoli Destroyed in Silence

... Payvand News - 11/27/06 ... --

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