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50 Petroglyphs Destroyed in Teymareh

50 Petroglyphs Destroyed in Teymareh50 Petroglyphs Destroyed in Teymareh

Recent mining activities in prehistoric site of Teymareh, Markazi Province, have destroyed 50 rocks adorned with petroglyphs, according to the head of the provincial office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

“The mining operations were authorized by the provincial office of the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade; but the ICHHTO was never contacted by any government entity regarding the projects,” Seyyed Muhammad Hosseini told Mehr News Agency.

Industrial activities in the vicinity of cultural, historical and natural heritage sites must be approved by three bodies: the ICHHTO, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office at the Forest, Range and Watershed Management Organization.

“The provincial offices of the DOE and FRWO authorized mining in the area, but nobody consulted us,” the official complained.

Hosseini said mining in the area had been suspended, following ICHHTO’s  complaint to judicial authorities.

Following a complaint from the provincial ICHHTO, Judicial authorities have ordered suspension of the mining activities. In a letter to governorate of Markazi Province, the ICHHTO demanded the case be handled by the provincial Dispute Settlement Council.

“At least 50 ancient rocks of the region, each with multiple signs and figures, have been destroyed during building access roads for the mining activities,” Hosseini said.

Prehistoric rock arts of Teymareh, which are believed to be 40,000 years old, are already threatened by air pollution and acid rains, which erode the rocks.

So far, over 21,000 petroglyphs have been found in Teymareh region.