Illegal diggers arrested in northeast Iran

January 15, 2022 - 21:30

TEHRAN – Iranian police have recently arrested seven illegal excavators in Torbat-e Heydarieh, northeastern Khorasan Razavi province, a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage has announced. 

The accused people were traced and finally arrested after police received reports from cultural heritage aficionados and local people about their misdeeds, CHTN quoted Mohammad Ali Modir as saying on Thursday. 

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

So far 450 historical structures have been identified in Torbat-e Heydarieh -located 180 kilometers to the provincial capital of Mashhad- of which 80 properties have been inscribed on the national heritage list.

Over the past couple of years, Torbat-e Heydarieh and its surroundings have yielded traces of the ancient settlements. Last year, an archaeological site was exposed on the outskirts of Torbat-e Heydarieh after torrential rains washed the soil away. The site was accessed to date back to the early and middle Islamic eras, according to preliminary studies carried out by the cultural heritage experts.

According to archaeological studies, Torbat-e Heydarieh is home to several historical caves due to its favorable habitat conditions and traces of habitation from about 40,000 years have been identified in the caves of the region. The history of the area stretches back to the Achaemenian Empire from the 6th to 4th century BC and the Parthian Empire from the 3rd century BC to the 3rd century CE.


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