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Iran: CHTHO mum as water co. resumes work at Ramhormoz ancient site

TEHRAN, June 25 (Mehr News Agency) -- The Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (KCHTHD) has agreed to allow the Khuzestan Water and Electricity Company to resume its operations at the ancient site of Jubji in Ramhormoz, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday.

Although the decision violates Iran's regulations for the safeguarding of cultural heritage, the Preservation and Restoration Department of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) and the Archaeological Research Center of Iran (ARCI) are shirking their responsibilities in this instance.

During a grading operation at the site in southern Iran's Khuzestan Province in early May, the Khuzestan Water and Electricity Company stumbled on a great number of priceless artifacts dating to back to the Elamite era.

The Khuzestan Water and Electricity Company should, in accordance with the license issued to them, sink pipes at a depth of one meter. However, the artifacts were discovered at a depth of seven meters.

Officials of the Preservation and Restoration Department of CHTHO have declined to give an explanation concerning the issue of a second license enabling the company to resume operations and they believe that the ARCI is responsible for safeguarding the site.

Meanwhile, the ARCI's director Mohammad-Hassan Fazeli Nashli said that his center has been tasked to excavate this ancient, historical site in order to obtain more information on its archaeological significance.

The extraordinary discovery of artifacts at this site includes five 'rings of power' in two U-shaped coffins, which, unfortunately, have been seriously damaged by bulldozers.

It also included a golden armlet with herb motifs, two golden bracelets bearing dear-head patterns at each end, some ornamental stones also decorated with herb motifs, several bracelets, one of which bearing a cuneiform inscription, and a short golden cane.

Some 155 golden buttons of various sizes were also found, which will help archaeologists in the study of ancient costumes.

Several statuettes of goddesses, which originally must have come from Mesopotamia, have also been unearthed.

In addition, a golden necklace, golden plaques with herb motifs, 99 golden necklace beads, 23 golden necklace pendants of various sizes, three marble stone dishes, earthenware and bronze dishes, several bronze bracelets, metal tripods which were probably used as candlesticks, and a fish-shaped goddess ornament, which dates back to the second millennium BC., have been discovered at the site.

The fish goddess ornament is in the form of a woman with a pleated skirt, her hands outstretched as if to indicate something. The fish-shaped part of the goddess was a part of a decorative armrest of a throne.

... Payvand News - 6/25/07 ... --

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