People, Travel

Restituted Fossils Unveiled

Restituted Fossils UnveiledRestituted Fossils Unveiled

Eight-million-year-old fossils which were returned to Iran last week following a decades-long legal battle with the United States were put on display on Saturday at Tehran’s Pardisan Park.

The fossils were discovered about 40 years ago, prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, in Maragheh, East Azarbaijan Province, following a joint excavation involving Iranian and American archeologists. Nearly 3,000 fossils were found at the time, but 1,351 items were loaned to the US for further studies, Khabaronline reported.

However, after the revolution the US refused to return the fossils, prompting a legal dispute which ended in Iran’s favors.

About 80% of the fossils, which include lower jaws, teeth and skulls, belong to a species of eohippus, an extinct genus believed to be the ancestor of the modern-day horse.

This is the third time the US has had to restitute Iranian artifacts in the past 14 months.

In April 2015, over 100 historical artifacts dating back 8,000 years were returned to Iran by the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute. The artifacts had been dug up from Chogha Mish in Khuzestan Province in 1937 and sent to the US for further examination.

In December 2014, a shipment of 349 ancient relics was returned to Iran from Belgium.