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Vandals smash column bases of Susa Apadana Palace

Column bases of the Apadana Palace of ancient Susa in Khuzestan Province have recently been demolished by vandals.
The palace’s remaining column bases have been broken into two pieces and inscriptions on the artifacts have been obliterated, the Khuzestan Cultural Heritage Lovers Society (Tariana) spokesman Mojtaba Gahestuni told the Persian service of CHN on Sunday.

The stone inscriptions have been severed and scattered around the ancient archaeological site, he added. “The reason for the destruction of the artifacts is not clear,” Gahestuni remarked, adding, “The incident probably results from the vandals’ ignorance of the historical significance of the relics.” He went on to say that many problems are caused by the lack of appropriate fencing around the site which covers about 360 hectares. “The Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department undertook the installation of rods around the zone, but the measure was inadequate and has not prevented unauthorized people from entering the precinct,” Gahestuni explained. According to Gahestuni, the use of concrete and iron rods for demarcation purposes has even led to some damage to the area.

The Apadana Palace is also being threatened by the construction of a preparatory school on its perimeter. In early December, Tariana sent letters to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, asking him put a stop to the project. The school building, which is to be four stories tall, will spoil the horizontal view from the palace ruins. In addition, the historical metropolis of Susa, which has been inhabited for over 7000 years, is being spoilt by Shush Municipality’s construction of a passenger bus terminal in the city’s southern section. Experts have previously given warning of the chaotic situation at the site, pointing out that such disorder has facilitated the illegal activities of smugglers who have managed to carry out excavations in search of valuable artifacts.


Mass Production of Silk Strings of Persian Harp

Silk String After 150 years of obsolescence, silk string of Iranian musical instruments will be produced.
CHN Foreign Desk- 5 January 2008- First Music Exhibition of Tehran presented the silk string of Traditional Iranian musical instruments.

Due to the difficult method of producing this string, its usage has been limited and obsolescent.

The mentioned silk string used to be utilized by musicians in various parts of Iran in ancient time through the Baroque era.

Mass production of metal strings, their relatively low cost of production and availability were among the factors that replaced silk string with metal ones.

According to Siamak Mehrdad, Iranian musician and researcher, who has spent 9 years on reviving the usage and production of silk strings, the sound of silk string is softer in comparison with metal ones; therefore it is more compatible with sound of other Iranian musical instruments.

After 9 years of hard work, Siamak Mehrdad has finally managed to invent a machine for producing silk strings.

He has also presented a revised version of harp. Although this musical instrument shares a lot in common with the harp, its specific scales is yet to be discovered, therefore there is no written style for its teaching.

The revised harp of Mehrdad received the award of musical instrument production division of the 18th Fajr Music festival.


Farming threatening Sassanid era city Eyvan-e Karkheh

The Sassanid era city of Eyvan-e Karkheh, in southwestern Iran, is in danger of destruction by the agricultural activities of the Islamic Azad University.
Over recent years, the site has been turned into a reserve for scientific studies by the university’s agriculture students, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday. Azad university officials have so far turned a blind eye to objections raised by many relevant organizations.

The Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department has suggested that the university’s officials exchange the site for another piece of land, but to no avail, as they have rejected the proposal. Fields of corn fields now cover the 1700-year-old city and the site is being increasingly damaged by irrigation. The activities have almost entirely demolished a long, Sassanid-era hallway at the site -- only ruins of the structure remain. Experts believe that the city will be totally destroyed if the students’ activities continue.

Built of brick, Eyvan-e Karkheh, dating back to the Sassanid era (224-651 CE), is the ruins of a great palace with a large hall which was once used for imperial ceremonies. It is located near Susa, the capital of the Elamite Empire (2700-645 BC), in southwestern Iran’s Khuzestan Province. Shush is the modern Persian name for Susa. Previously to the agricultural project, Eyvan-e Karkheh had also once been turned into a garbage dump. However, it was never clear whether the culprits were local inhabitants or the area’s municipality.