Saturday, December 29, 2007

Elamite-era artifacts languishing in vermin-infested Shush Castle

How terrible! This is a prime example of a cache of ancient art that needs to be at least photographed and indexed before these priceless items are lost to the world forever!

"About 90,000 archaeological artifacts are being stored in appalling conditions in the underground storerooms of Shush Castle which is located in Shush, near the ancient sites of Susa in Khuzestan Province.

“The storerooms are not only humid but are inhabited by snakes, scorpions, and insects such as termites,” an informed source, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the Persian service of IRNA on Tuesday. “The artifacts belong to various periods of Iran’s history,” the informer added. According to the report, many of the items have never been on public display.

Artifacts which were discovered by the French archaeologist Roman Ghirshman in the 1940s are among the relics languishing in the gloomy cellars. A large number of the secreted objects had been carefully salvaged from the Elamite-era sites of Khuzestan over the past decades. The only action that has been taken for the protection of the relics was carried out by ancient inscriptions expert Abdolmajid Arfaei, who sprayed the storerooms with insecticide last year. "

Image: Kneeling Bull Figure, Proto-Elamite, 3000-2800 BCE, southwest Iran (Courtesy Bostonia, Summer 2004, Boston University)