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Ancient arches destroyed in southwestern Iran

TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (Mehr News Agency) -- Excavating machines recently demolished two ancient arches at the Mash Mardasi ancient site in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan. Working on an irrigation project of to the Agricultural Jihad Ministry, the machines stumbled on the structures, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported on Monday.

The arches are believed to date back to an era before the advent of Islam in Iran.

The report was previously denied by an anonymous official of the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department (KCHTHD).

A KCHTHD representative visited Mash Mardasi who confirmed that the project was safe for the site, the official said.

However, MNA published a number of photos depicting the mud bricks of the structure scattered around the excavation for the irrigation project.

Mud bricks of one of the ancient arches, which have been destroyed by excavating machines working on an irrigation project at the Mash Mardasi ancient site in Iran's Khuzestan Province, are seen in the photo.

The Mash Mardasi site comprises several structures and a mound on which the ruins of a Qajar era fortress remain.

Artifacts, including glazed pottery bearing zigzag shaped patterns have previously been discovered at the site.

... Payvand News - 02/22/10 ... --

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