Seyed Mansour Seyed Sajjadi:

The relief on the side of the Konar Sandal has disappeared

The conditions of the Konar Sandal site are grave, and according to the head of the archeological excavations, the prominent site of Konar Sandal has been destroyed.
The archeological excavations of Konar Sandal Jiroft, under the supervision of Seyed Mansour Seyedsajadi, have started after a 17-year break with the cooperation of the Cultural Heritage Research Institute. However, Sajadi insisted that the condition of the site next to Sandal is very dire and said: In the years when this area was left alone, irreparable damage was done to it, or example, the beautiful relief that had been found in that area was entirely destroyed and nothing can be done about it. This area has been neglected for more than 16 years, without any restoration. Although the reliefs were not directly exposed to wind and rain and were covered, but the covering was not done by experts and so could not protect this outstanding relief against natural factors. Also, the site required repair work which never happened. Therefore, the relief has been entirely destroyed.
He continued: Considering the state of this site, which is obvious, it is advisable that more serious restoration work is done this year. This means maintaining and restoring the destroyed and worn-out sections. We can say that 75% of our work on Konar Sandal is for protection and not for excavation because digging will not be the right thing to do if this site is not protected and the destroyed sections are not repaired. But the gap that happened during excavations resulted in the destruction of parts of the hills and also the artifacts that had been found. Therefore, these fresh restoration works is the most important plan for restoration and protection of artifacts that have been found on these hills.
In response to the question that apart from the destruction of the relief, what other parts of the area have been destroyed and whether we have witnessed unauthorized excavations, he said: No, we do not have any unauthorized excavations. The protection unit and protectors have done their best, and we did not have any unauthorized drilling. The wear and tear and destruction are due to natural conditions because the works of the area are made of clay and mud and were exposed to wind and rain for 16 years and have suffered erosion and spillage. Our effort is to restore this section, which if not taken care of, will also be destroyed, like the relief we already mentioned.
Seyedsajadi said: “There are many architectural parts of Konar Sandal that are exposed to natural factors and have been destroyed, and we don’t know if we will be able to deal with all of them this year or not, but we have placed the parts in different degrees of importance and the parts that are more important and the degree. We prioritized those with more injuries. The residential parts of the city are included in the restoration program. Of course, there are parts that Mr. Majidzadeh has introduced as administrative parts, and their rooms, walls, and floors are destroyed and need repair. The part of the cemetery was looted years ago, and no particular work can be done anymore. The work in that part is also useless because only a few pits remain from the activities of smugglers and antique dealers. Therefore, all our efforts will be in the reconstruction, protection, and restoration of residential, industrial, and administrative sectors.
Pointing out that 25% of the funds will be allocated to archeological excavations, the head of Konar Sandal archaeological excavations said: We will excavate some very small test boreholes in several sections to see what the site’s condition and cultural layers are like. We will start more extensive explorations next year if more funds are allocated.
He continued: Now we made a small borehole in the northern sandal section on one of the walls of the second platform in this area, two large clay platforms have remained intact from the hands of diggers. From what is seen, it can be said that this part has not been destroyed, and what is there is from millennia ago. From the exploration of this section, we want to conclude what the user of this platform was. What does the mere existence of a platform mean? Was there any structure on it which is lost? Or we were mistaken, and if it isn’t a platform, it might have been a thick wall. We also intend to obtain the chronology of this platform and understand its usage. We will probably make other trenches in the coming days.
Seyyed Mansour Seyyedsajadi is one of the archaeologists who previously excavated the ancient site of the burnt city in Sistan, and he is called the savior of the burnt city. Seyyed Sajadi’s many years of exploration and his efforts led to the world registration of this ancient site; therefore, in response to the question that, according to his experience, can a future like the burnt city be considered for Sandal, he said: Everything can be considered, but the conditions must be provided. For over 30 years, we worked with a large, well-equipped team in the burnt city. Although sometimes we needed help with budget and financial issues, the conditions were OK to start the work. Now, we are in the first steps next to Sandal. The area has the potential, but it should be discovered. We should be able to provide conditions in terms of funds and supplies. Burnt city (Shahre Sukhte) also took a long time to be completed. Shahre Sukhte also took a long time to complete the excavations. For Konar Sandal also, the conditions should be suitable to start. We hope that in the next two seasons of operations we will be able to prepare the grounds.
He continued: The process of global registration of works is time-consuming and takes a long time, and it is necessary to advance the work and show the criteria of international registration, which requires pervasive work. We must have experts in various fields, publications that should be complete, and research to defend the reasons for global registration. Konar Sandal has profound changes about the origin of the civilizations of the urbanization era. We should also show the effects of this site on the sites around and further away, even on the sheiks of Arabs, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, etc.

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June 14, 2024