September 17, 2021
A consignment of ancient jewelry has entered in Iran from Afghanistan and part of it has already been sold on the black market to a local buyer, a local website in Iran has reported.
Sedaye Miras (Voice of Heritage) website said on Thursday that the jewels arrived in Iran’s Mazenderan northern province one month before the fall of Kabul in mid-August. The consignment includes golden necklaces, belts and eight earrings mostly decorated with turquoise stones.
The report said that 2,170 grams of the jewelry was sold for around $200,000 to a well-known local buyer of historic artifacts who is looking for foreign customers to resell his purchase at a profit.
The report also says the jewels are apparently from illegal digs in northern Afghanistan’s Tila Tappeh (Golden Hill) that was excavated in 1978 by Soviet archeologists and unearthed more than 20,000 artifacts from burial chambers.
The 2,000-year-old hoard including gold coins struck by Persian kings, went missing during the 40-year conflicts in Afghanistan and resurfaced in 2003. The Afghan government was planning a museum in Kabul to showcase the artifacts.
Earlier this year, the speaker of parliament Mir Rahman Rahmani demanded the artifacts to be sent to a secure country but the presidential administration reacted strongly, saying the collection will be defended “like national treasure”.