Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pishva Historical Site on the Verge of Devastation


Tehran, 1 June 2006 (CHN) -- While the historical site of Pishva, which contains a large amount of historical relics belonging to different periods of time, is on the verge of complete destruction by bulldozers, no real measure has yet been taken by authorities to prevent this cultural disaster. “Some people who claim to have certificate from the municipality of Pishva for construction activities in the area, have already started the destruction of Pishva historical site by bulldozers. No measure has been taken yet by authorities to prevent this destructive activity in the area which contains a large amount of clay relics,” said Mohammad Mir Eskandari, head of the archaeology team of Pishva Azad University.
According to Mir Eskandari, Pishva Tepe is considered a very important historical site for completing the studies about the history of the Central Plateau of Iran and its destruction would cause irrecoverable harm to a part of the ancient history of the Central Plateau of Iran. Although the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran had already declared about the harm which is threatening Pishva historical site several times, it seems it was neglected by the other organizations.
On the other hand the authorities of Pishva municipality have denied the destruction activities in the area and claim that the lands in the vicinity of Pishva historical hill are not belonging only to Pishva’s Municipality and they belong to the Ministry of the Housing and Urban Development, and Azad University as well. Besides, according to the municipality of Pishva city, the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department of Tehran have not determined the vicinity of this historical hill exactly yet.
Prior to this the news about the destruction of some historical sites in Pishva historical Tepe was announced and confirmed by the authorities of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran such as destruction of historical cemetery belonging to the Iron Age, and illegal excavations in this historical site. However, it seems it caused no change in the trend of illegal and destructive activities in this historical site.
While according to the article no. 558 of Islamic punishment regulations of Iran, whoever causes any kind of harm to any cultural, historical or religious sites which have been registered in the list of Iran’s National Heritage, should not only compensate for the loss, but also will sentence to one to ten years imprisonment. However, it seems this act does not work with Pishva clay hill which since few months ago is under illegal excavations and seems to be on the verge of devastation and no legal action has been made in this respect to prevent these destructive activities. Pishva is a city located in Tehran province. It is situated in the south-east of this province. The history of this hill dates back to the fifth millennium BC. Pishva clay historical hill is one of the registered sites in list of Iran’s National Heritage.
What is more disappointing in this respect is that it is not the first time that constructional and development activities are a hazard to one of the historical sites in Iran and it has changed into one of the major concerns of the cultural heritage enthusiasts. Maybe, this problem rises from lack of a comprehensive and executive regulation about how to protect the historical sites and also lack of information about the importance of cultural and historical sites. Implementing a determined regulation for protecting historical site, increasing the public knowledge about the importance of historical sites as a national heritage, and creating a coalition between different organizations and between organizations and people would be the best way to put an end to this controversy.

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