A remarkable and much-visited collection of prehistoric rock carvings in the remote valley of Teimareh, central Iran, have been registered as heritage sites within the country since 2011. The hope was to see them recognized by UNESCO too. Now, however, the scraped designs of animals, maps and humanoid figures in the rock are vulnerable as the industrial divisions of both Golpayegan and Khomein County municipalities have issued licenses for mining and livestock grazing around the site in recent years. The head of Golpayegan Cultural Heritage Office warned that silicone mining poses a serious threat to the petroglyphs’ integrity and could even see them reduced to rubble, and though they were ordered to halt their activities in October 2021, there are suspicions they continue their work in secret.
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