Friday, March 03, 2006

Historic Sialk Left to be Destroyed


LONDON, March 3, 2006(CAIS) -- Long-term plans should be devised to protect the historical Tappeh Sialk in the city of Kashan. Sadeq Malek Shahmirzadi, leading the Sialk excavation team, told ISNA that a five-year project had already been implemented on the ancient hill.
He recalled that French archaeologist Roman Ghirshman had initially excavated the area back in 1930s. Shahmirzadi regretted that vast sections of the hill had been destroyed due to poor protection.
Sialk is the oldest historical site in the Central Plateau, he said, recalling that a five-year project had been devised in 2001 to continue excavation work. “Three books have already been published on the results of the first three seasons of excavations. The collected information during the fourth season is also being compiled as a book,“ he explained.
Protection guards were stationed in the area since 2001. Making the remarks at the end of the five-year excavation project at Sialk, the archaeologist said he would no longer go there “because local officials are ignorant of archaeological considerations and they act in whatever way they desire.“
The archaeological site of Tappeh Sialk is an important Early Neolithic site near the modern town of Kashan in Iran, with occupations dated to as early as 6000 BC. The site contains one of the oldest ziggurats in the world, said to be 7,500 years old, and belonging to the Elamite civilization. The site was fist excavated in the 1930s, at least partly funded by the Louver Museum, where some of the artifacts are still stored.

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