Police arrest illegal diggers in Golestan

November 8, 2021 - 19:30

TEHRAN – Iranian police have recently arrested three illegal excavators and antique smugglers in the historical texture of Gorgan, the capital of northern Golestan province, previously known as Astarabad, CHTN reported on Monday. 

The accused people were traced and finally arrested after police received reports from cultural heritage aficionados about their misdeeds, said Seyyed Faramarz Mir, a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage.

The culprits were handed over to the judicial system for further investigation, the official added. 

Astarabad is situated along a small tributary of the Qareh River, 37 kilometers from the Caspian Sea. The city, which was prosperous during the Achaemenid era (c. 550 – 330 BC), for long suffered from inroads of the Turkmen tribes who occupied the plain north of the Qareh River and were subjected to incessant Qajar-Turkmen tribal conflicts in the 19th century according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. 

It was renamed Gorgan in the 1930s after being devastated by a massive earthquake. In modern times the plain around Gorgan has become a flourishing granary.

Golestan is reportedly embracing some 2,500 historical and natural sites, with UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus – a one-millennium-old brick tower – amongst its most famous.

Narratives say the tower has influenced various subsequent designers of tomb towers and other cylindrical commemorative structures both in the region and beyond. The UNESCO comments that the tower bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran.


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