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Rescue Archeology Begins on Water Pipeline Route

Rescue Archeology Begins on Water Pipeline RouteRescue Archeology Begins on Water Pipeline Route

Efforts have begun to save objects of historical importance likely lying on the path of a major project to transfer water from the Persian Gulf in southern Iran to Kerman and Yazd provinces.

According to Mahboubeh Nasser Tehrani, who is leading rescue archeology efforts in Kerman, teams will study large areas around the pipeline, ISNA reported.

The project is aimed at meeting the ever-increasing demand of water-intensive industries, such as steel plants, while supporters claim it is meant to address the widespread drought in the two provinces.

According to officials at the Research Institute of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism, which is affiliated with Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, work on the controversial scheme was started before the approval of ICHHTO.

Economists have openly challenged former and present decision-makers and governments for building huge steel plants far away from the seas and believe the mills will have to close down simply because they are water intensive and economically unsustainable.

"If [the contractors] had included archeological assessment studies in their proposal and acquired the necessary permits, we wouldn't need to be doing this now," Tehrani said. "However, it is now very likely that we'll discover damaged artifacts in regions where the pipeline has already been laid."

The project, which aims to transfer water from the Persian Gulf through Hormozgan Province to Kerman and Yazd, is a 750-km pipeline to be laid in a tunnel 30 meters wide. The project is funded by the Persian Gulf Water Supply Company.

According to law, large-scale construction projects must receive the approval of ICHHTO to protect historical sites and, if necessary, conduct rescue archeology, which is the collection of archeological data and materials from a site in danger of imminent destruction.

"Development is inevitable but we cannot ignore its impact on historical and cultural heritage," Tehrani said.


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