Iranian police arrest 5,000 excavators, antique smugglers 

January 12, 2022 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Iranian authorities have arrested 5,000 illegal diggers and antique dealers across the country since the beginning of the current Iranian year 1400 (March 21, 2021), a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage said on Wednesday. 

Over 4500 historical objects have also recovered during the mentioned time, Hassan Mehri said, ISNA reported. 

More than 5,000 metal detectors have been confiscated from unauthorized diggers in the past few years, the official added. 

Several exquisite and priceless relics that represent various eras of the country’s rich history, have been unearthed in various excavations in the country’s historical sites, and are mostly being kept in different museums.

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, embracing settlements dating back to 4000 BC.

It also hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments including bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, gardens, rich natural, rural landscapes as well as 26 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The name of Iran, formerly known as Persia, mostly conjures up the first Persian Empire, ruled by the Achaemenids (550 – 330 BC) and sites such as Pasargadae and Persepolis. However, there are tens of prehistorical sites as the Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchestan, Tepe Sialk in Kashan, Susa and Chogha Zanbil in the Khuzestan province and Ecbatana in Hamedan which predate the Achaemenid period.

From a wider point of view, Iranian history can be divided into Pre-Islamic and Islamic eras. The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656) that put an end to the mighty Sassanid Empire (224–651) was a turning point in the history of the nation.


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