Monday, July 14, 2008

Archaelogists Give Good Reason for Not Helping Iran's Cultural Sites

During its annual meeting held June 29-July 4 in Dublin, the World Archaeological Congress passed a resolution urging colleagues to refuse any military requests to draw up a list of Iranian sites that should be exempted from air strikes. According to the resolution, "Such advice would provide cultural credibility and respectability to the military action."

According to, "Instead, delegates were advised to emphasise the harm that any military action would do to Iran's people and heritage. During the invasion of Iraq in 2003, bombing damaged important monuments, including the Al-Zohur Palace in Baghdad, and museums and archaeological sites were later looted - even though archaeologists had been consulted in advance. 'If these archaeologists had little impact in terms of saving even the few selected archaeological sites listed, what did they achieve?' asks Yannis Hamilakis of the University of Southampton, UK."

There are currently nine World Heritage sites in Iran, including Persepolis and the Armenian Monastic Ensembles just designated on July 6, 2008. In addition, there 61 sites that have been submitted to the Tentative List.

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