Five excavators arrested in northwest Iran

September 8, 2021 - 22:0

TEHRAN – Police have recently detained five unauthorized diggers in an archaeologically rich province in northwest Iran.

The excavators were arrested in Sareyn county of Ardabil province by forces in charge of protecting cultural heritage, Sareyn’s tourism chief Yahya Najjarqabel said on Wednesday.

“Moreover, their digging equipment and tools were seized, and the accused were surrounded to the judicial system to face trial,” the official said.

“Over the past month, several gangs of diggers and [potential] looters of cultural heritage have been arrested in Sareyn.”

“The vigilance and timely presence of the local cultural heritage personnel in coordination with the police forces have disallowed them to achieve their ends,” he explained.

Sprawling on a high, windswept plateau, Ardabilis well-known for having lush natural beauties, hospitable people, and its silk and carpet trade tradition. It is also home to the UNESCO-registered Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble.

The pre-Islamic history of Ardabil is vague. Muslim historians attribute the foundation of Ardabil to the Sasanian King of Kings Peroz I (r. 459–484), who named it Shad Peroz or Shahram Peroz. Ardabil suffered some damages caused by occasional raids of Huns from the 4th to 6th century CE. Peroz repaired those damages and fortified the city.

The archaeologically rich province is very cold in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands every year. The capital city of Ardabilis usually recorded as one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.


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