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Iran's 5200-year-old Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) joins UNESCO World Heritage List


Report by Tehran Times; photos by Arash Khamooshi, ISNA

The 5200-year-old Shahr-e Sukhteh (Burnt City) located in southeastern Iran was registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List on Sunday. The site was registered with no opposing vote during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee, the deputy director of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization, Mohammad-Hassan Talebian, told the Persian service of ISNA.

"The Burnt City has always been deemed as pacifist and no defensive instrument has ever been discovered at the ancient site," he said.

"The registration of the site on the World Heritage List could contribute to the issue of the world peace among the countries and cultures," he added.


The 38th session of the World Heritage Committee began in Doha, Qatar on June 15.

The committee is scheduled to decide about the registration of 35 five other sites from other countries during the session, which will run until June 25.

Located 57 kilometers from the Iranian town of Zabol in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, the Burnt City was excavated for the first time by the Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente (IsIAO) team led by Maurizio Tosi in 1967. The team conducted nine seasons of excavations until 1978.

After a 19-year hiatus, a team led by Professor Seyyed Mansur Sajjadi began studies on the Burnt City and conducted 22 seasons of excavations at the site.

A 10-centimeter ruler with an accuracy of half a millimeter, an artificial eyeball, an earthenware bowl bearing the world's oldest example of animation and many other artifacts have been discovered among the ruins of the city in the course of the 22 seasons of archaeological excavations conducted by Iranian teams.

An archaeological team, which will be led by Sajjadi, is scheduled to reconstruct the ancient society of the Burnt City during the new excavation season this year in October.

Sixteen Iranian ancient and historical sites have previously been registered on UNESCO's World Heritage List.


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