Iran plans to restore Sassanid tunnel in Shushtar

TEHRAN, May 4 (MNA) -- A team of Iranian experts will restore a Sassanid tunnel in Khuzestan Province in the near future.

The tunnel is a part of an ancient irrigation system located in the city of Shushtar.


Khuzestan Water and Electricity Office proposed restoring the tunnel using concrete mortar following the collapse of the tunnel’s ventilation ducts last year, the Persian service of CHN reported on Monday.


Shush cultural heritage officials reject the proposal arguing that the style of the restoration would spoil the authenticity of the ancient site, Shush cultural heritage official Mohammadreza Chitsaz said.


The team comprising 14 experts on irrigation systems has studied the site and is slated to restore the tunnel in its traditional style.


Registration on UNESCO’s World Heritage List of the ancient Shushtar irrigation system and the tomb of Sheikh Safi ad-Din Ardebili is on the agenda for discussion during the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee, which will take place in Sevilla, Spain from June 22 to 30.


The restoration of the Sassanid tunnel in its original style will be helpful in convincing the committee to register the irrigation system on the World Heritage List, Chitsaz said.  


The Sassanid tunnel, which is 380 meters in length, is considered the world’s longest ancient irrigation structure.


The Shushtar waterworks comprises bridges, dams, mills, qanats, reservoirs, tunnels, and canals, most of which were constructed in the Sassanid period (224-651 CE), especially during the reign of Shapur I (241-272 CE).


However, some structures of the system date back to the Achaemenid period.





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