Looted artifacts returned to Iran, Jiroft

8/18/2005 9:17:21 AM

LONDON, August 17 (IranMania) - Some residents of Jiroft and neighboring villages recently returned thirty looted ancient artifacts to the Jiroft Cultural Heritage and Tourism Office.

The artifacts were found during previous illegal excavations in the region, expert Nader Alidad Soleymani said, MNA reported.

"There are rare items among them, one of which bears the image of a man. The image was not observed on any item in the region in the past," he said,

adding that the returned artifacts date back to the third millennium BC and are very important for archaeologists.

Residents of the Jiroft region have returned over one hundred items to the local cultural heritage office over the past two years since the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) began informing people of the great importance of the ancient artifacts.

CHTO officials have also encouraged people to return the artifacts by promising them that their names would be engraved on the returned items.

Jiroft, located in Kerman Province, is one of the richest historical areas in the world, with ruins and artifacts dating back to the third millennium BC and with over 100 historical sites located along the approximately 400 kilometers of the Halil Rud riverbank.

Many Iranian and foreign experts see the findings in Jiroft as signs of a civilization as great as Sumer and ancient Mesopotamia. They believe that Jiroft is the ancient city of Aratta, which was described as a great civilization in a Sumerian clay inscription.