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9 October 2005
Prehistoric mounds plowed in Khuzestan

Farmers almost entirely destroyed two ancient mounds, or tepes, in Susa, Khuzestan Province (Iran), while they were plowing the site for cultivation.
     "The site had initially been excavated by a team of Iranian archaeologists and some experts from the University of Chicago in 2002 and 2003. They believed the site dated back to 5000 BCE," Abdorreza Peymani, an official of the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department (KCHTD) said. "At the present time, agricultural operations have been halted at the site and the KCHTD has filed a lawsuit against the private owner of the land," he added.
     Susa (Biblical Shushan, modern Shush) was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian, and Parthian empires of Iran, located about 150 miles east of the Tigris River in Khuzestan Province of Iran. Susa is one of the oldest known settlements of the region, probably founded about 4000 BCE, though the first traces of an inhabited village date back to 7000 BCE. Evidence of a painted pottery civilization dates back to 5000 BCE.
     Since it has the most ancient sites and monuments in the country, Khuzestan is considered the heart of Iranís archaeology. However, its archaeological sites have been excavated by smugglers 83 times over the past 15 months, making Khuzestan Iranís most illegally excavated province.

Source: Tehran Times (3 October 2005)

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