Farming threatening Sassanid era city Eyvan-e Karkheh

January 1, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- The Sassanid era city of Eyvan-e Karkheh, in southwestern Iran, is in danger of destruction by the agricultural activities of the Islamic Azad University.

Over recent years, the site has been turned into a reserve for scientific studies by the university’s agriculture students, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday.
Azad university officials have so far turned a blind eye to objections raised by many relevant organizations.
The Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department has suggested that the university’s officials exchange the site for another piece of land, but to no avail, as they have rejected the proposal.
Fields of corn fields now cover the 1700-year-old city and the site is being increasingly damaged by irrigation.
The activities have almost entirely demolished a long, Sassanid-era hallway at the site -- only ruins of the structure remain.
Experts believe that the city will be totally destroyed if the students’ activities continue.
Built of brick, Eyvan-e Karkheh, dating back to the Sassanid era (224-651 CE), is the ruins of a great palace with a large hall which was once used for imperial ceremonies. It is located near Susa, the capital of the Elamite Empire (2700-645 BC.), in southwestern Iran’s Khuzestan Province. Shush is the modern Persian name for Susa.
Previously to the agricultural project, Eyvan-e Karkheh had also once been turned into a garbage dump. However, it was never clear whether the culprits were local inhabitants or the area’s municipality.