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21 October 2006
Smugglers entice archaeologists to excavate Iranian mound

Illicit excavations by smugglers at the 3000-year-old Babajian mound in Lorestan Province (Iran) have drawn a team of archaeologists to the site to save the rest of the artifacts. "The safeguarding of the Babajian mound faces many problems due to the fact that the site is located in a mountainous region. The path leading to the site is difficult to tread, but the smugglers, most of whom are locals, can easily overcome the challenge," archaeologist Ata Hassanpur of the Lorestan Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department said. The smugglers have almost completely excavated the cemetery of the site. "The site has been seriously damaged by the numerous illicit excavations, but the team hopes they can save some intact graves," Hassanpur added. Babajian mound has not been excavated before, but initial studies indicate that the site dates back to about 1300 BCE.

Source: Mehr News (20 October 2006)

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