Archaeological nightmare transpires at Shush Castle

December 26, 2007

TEHRAN -- About 90,000 archaeological artifacts are being stored in appalling conditions in the underground storerooms of Shush Castle which is located in Shush, near the ancient sites of Susa in Khuzestan Province.

“The storerooms are not only humid but are inhabited by snakes, scorpions, and insects such as termites,” an informed source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the Persian service of IRNA on Tuesday.
“The artifacts belong to various periods of Iran’s history,” the informer added.
According to the report, many of the items have never been on public display.
Artifacts which were discovered by the French archaeologist Roman Ghirshman in the 1940s are among the relics languishing in the gloomy cellars.
A large number of the secreted objects had been carefully salvaged from the Elamite-era sites of Khuzestan over the past decades.
The only action that has been taken for the protection of the relics was carried out by ancient inscriptions expert Abdolmajid Arfaei, who sprayed the storerooms with insecticide last year.
The foundations of Shush Castle were laid in 1897 by French civil engineer, geologist, and archaeologist Jacques Jean-Marie de Morgan (1857-1924), who had come to Iran to carry out excavations in the region.
He had managed to convince the French government of the time of the necessity of sponsoring the construction of the stronghold, which was used as a safe haven for his team and as place to carry out their studies.
The construction of the castle, in a style reminiscent of medieval architecture, was completed under the supervision of a local architect Mostafa Dezfuli in 1912.
Several of the castle’s storehouses have become completely dilapidated through neglect.