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400 Historical Sites Discovered within 7 Days in Mazandaran

8/9/07 Tehran (CHN) - Researches conducted by 16 teams in an attempt to prepare the archeological map of Mazandaran province has resulted in discovery of 400 historical sites just within the first week of this project. It is anticipated that the number of historical sites in this Iranian northern province would reach to 10,000 until the end of the project.

Due to the ecosystem and historical diversity of Mazandaran province, as it was supposed the discovered historical sites belonging to different prehistoric and historic periods and ranging in date from Paleolithic epoch and Stone Age to historical and Islamic periods.

According to Ali Mahforouzi, archeologist and head of research department of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Department of Mazandaran province, since Mazandaran province is divided into 16 sections, 16 teams consisted of archeologists and geographical experts have been dispatched to different parts of the province. Currently the project for preparing the archeological map of the province has been started from Galoogah, the most eastern part of the province, to Ramsar which is located on the west of the province.

In an attempt to cause the least harm to archeological sites due to developing projects, all identified prehistoric and historic sites of Mazandaran province are due to be pinpointed in the archeological map of the province.

"In order to wrap up the project in mountainous regions before starting of raining season, we have given the priority to these areas to identify their archeological sites," said Mahforouzi to CHN.

He further explained that some 10,000 US Dollars have been allocated to this project by the Research Center of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) and some negotiations have been also made in this regard to increase the budget.

The mountainous situation and thick forests of Mazandaran province which have caused a lot of problem for bringing them under control, have provided a good chance for smugglers to plunder different parts of the province over time.

Regarding the amount of illegal diggings made so far in these regions, head of research center of ICHHTO Mazandaran's provincial department told CHN: "The dispatched teams have not yet given a report from the rate of illegal diggings in mountainous areas. However it is predicted that a large number of prehistoric and historical sites must have been plundered so far. We are also determined to pinpoint these areas in a separate map in order to arrange special protection in these areas."

Enjoying a large potential in archeological research, Mazandaran province has played an important role in cultural flourishing and urban development of the region. "It is expected that this research project in Mazandaran province will also led into identifying and discovering the evidence of Kura-Aras culture of Qafqaz region from west, pre-historic and historic cultures of Turkmenistan from east, and the civilization of Iran's Central Plateau," explained Mahforouzi.

All achieved information about this historic province is due to be documented and pinpointed in a 25 thousandth map scale of Mazandaran province which will be put in hands of all development organizations.

Soudabeh Sadigh

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