Iranian police bust gangs of illegal excavators

September 6, 2020 - 19:30

TEHRAN – Iranian authorities have recently busted two gangs of illegal diggers in southwestern Khuzestan and northern Mazandaran provinces.

Six illegal diggers in the southwestern city of Andika, and an illegal excavator in the northern city of Amol were detained, said Amir Rahmatollahi, a senior police official in charge of protecting cultural heritage, ILNA reported on Sunday.

He also noted that the culprits were surrendered to the judicial system for further investigation.

Lying at the head of the Persian Gulf and bordering Iraq on the west, Khuzestan was settled about 6000 BC by a people with affinities to the Sumerians, who came from the Zagros Mountains region. Urban centers appeared there nearly contemporaneously with the first cities in Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium. Khuzestan, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, came to constitute the heart of the Elamite kingdom, with Susa as its capital.

Soaked in a vibrant history, Mazandaran (also known as Tabarestan) was a cradle of civilization since the beginning of the first millennium BC. According to Britannica Encyclopedia, it was almost overrun in about 720 CE by the Arab raiders.

Its insecure eastern and southeastern borders were crossed by Mongol invaders in the 13th and 14th centuries. Cossacks attacked the region in 1668 but were repulsed. It was ceded to the Russian Empire by a treaty in 1723, but the Russians were never secure in their occupation. The area was restored to Iran under the Qajar dynasty. The northern section of the region consists of a lowland alongside the Caspian and an upland along the northern slopes of the Alborz Mountains.