interview with the archaeologist (M.A Student) Hemin-Marwani

interviewed by:

Shawnm Hamzaye

The cultural and ancient heritage that has historical importance  and is a main factor for identity-seekers for every nation, It is also an undeniable necessity for the Kurdish nation. The plundering and destruction of the Kurdish cultural heritage and the destruction of the Kurdish identity  by its enemies has become an important and actual issue.The  archaeologists say we need to look more closely at this issue and the crisis. The destruction of cultural and ancient heritage by the government and officials of the Islamic Republic and opportunists(local people) created a great danger today, toward the history and identity of Kurdistan. To know more about the case, the “kurdistanukurd” website has done an interview with the archaeologist (M.A Student) Hemin-Marwani.


What is the importance and value of cultural heritage? Is there any comprehensive definition of archaeological and cultural artifacts today?

The cultural heritage refers to all those artifacts left over from the past centuries and millennium that have cultural and spiritual values. These works can include tangible artifacts (such as ancient buildings) or intangible artifacts (such as the customs of an area or a nation) that are being preserved today for future generations. The unique cultural heritage is exclusive and has value and respect among generations. The smaller items, including works of art and other cultural masterpieces, are collected in art museums and galleries, while others, such as ancient buildings, are collectively recognized as a cultural heritage site.

When it comes talking about cultural heritage and antiquities, what kind of archeological sites of Kurdistan it is spoken about? What is our cultural and ancient heritage in Iranian Kurdistan?

When it comes talking about of the cultural heritage of the Kurdish people, our minds are immediately reminded of the Medes and their kingdom. In fact, the first all-encompassing and civilized government and state on the Iranian plateau was created by the Medes, the Kurds, but today, in due of political reasons, the Kurds have been marginalized.

Our present-day heritage, if we want to give outstanding examples of it in Iranian Kurdistan, we can point out to the most important and prominent monument of the Median architecture in the city of Mahabad in the name of Diako and Frawartish, the two of the early kings of Media. Other The rock cut tombs of the Medes are located in Kermanshah province mostly. The tombs of Skavand, Dukan Davood, Ravansar, Bard-e Asheqan, and the tombs of Sarpol-e Zahab all are belonging to the kingdom and civilization of the Medes. These are all material, immovable, and tangible Kurdish cultural heritage.

Regarding the intangible, intangible and tangible heritage of Kurdistan, I must point out the customs, language, traditions and civilizations that culturally and spiritually are, in fact, the main and strong pillars of our culture and originality.

  What are the importance and impact of cultural heritage for an identity-seeking nation in the process of becoming a government?

 The importance and impact of cultural heritage is vital to a fighter nation which is currently struggling for get its rights. As we know today, archeology is in some way is on service to the cultural originality of past civilizations, and governments are taking advantage of its politically. Apart from these, the Kurdish nation, in the course of its long struggles, has always sought to revive at least parts of this brilliant civilization, had been aware of its prolific.

and noble past. At present, having such a long and ancient culture is considered as one of the effective factors in proving and legitimizing the demands of the Kurdish people.

Do cultural heritage have only spiritual values? Or they have also material and economical values?

The cultural heritage has both spiritual and material and economical values. The collection of objects/artifacts that will found in tombs, hills, castles and ancient sites, in addition to spiritual value, also has material values. In fact, in today’s world for the Kurdish nation, the spiritual and political value of this ancient human heritage is greater than even its material value.

How and to what extent have the governments of Kurdistan governed and dealt with the effects of this nation?

The interaction and dealing of the colonial governments of Kurdistan in all its parts is purely rooted in a security and discriminatory view. In Iranian Kurdistan, not only is there no caring paid to Kurdish antiquities, and no budget is spent on maintenance, protection, or excavation, even this cultural heritage has been looted and destroyed by government officials. Everyone knows that “Yasser- Rafsanjani” is the head of a mafia of antiques and antiquities at the national and regional levels. The ancient hills of Kurdistan often become the bases of the Revolutionary Guards, in which case they are looted and destroyed. Recently, one of the families of Mahabad special governor “Iraj-Shojaei”, who also leads an antiquities mafia, was arrested, but was immediately released due to kinship with the non-native governor of Mahabad. In other cases, the birthplace of Mamosta “Hemin”, a well-known Kurdish poet in the village of “Lachin” in Mahabad, has been destroyed and looted by unauthorized diggers.

Do you think that the Kurds are still not aware of the real value and importance of their cultural and ancient heritage?

Yes, exactly. until yesterday, the hunting case of birds and animals was considered as a social value, but today it has become a counter-value and legally forbidden. Until that day comes, we have a long way to be more progressive than now, in terms of antiquities. There is a misconception among Iranian Kurdistan, which means that if we do not dig ourselves illegally, the government, the officials and the non-natives will loot all our cultural heritage, so it’s much better to plunder and destroy them ourselves!

In my opinion, if the channels of the Kurdish parties work on this issue overnight and only for a minute, it will be very important and influential for the people. Unfortunately, the Kurdish opposition is still not aware about importance and value of this issue as well as!

From the point of view of myself, and considering the political and cultural value of this archaeological artifacts, and those who plunder and loot their cultural and ancient monuments and heritage should be considered as traitors to the homeland of Kurdistan and punished until other traitors will leave its actions.

Whom should take duty and responsibility of our cultural and archeological monuments?

It is primarily the responsibility belongs to government officials because they have executive power and legislation. In the next stage, it is the people and each individual of the society who must deal with this issue responsibly and know and appreciate the value and importance of the cultural and spiritual heritage of their ancestors.

Unfortunately, in the last two decades, unutilized gangs and illegally excavations teams have reached explosive levels. And the government does not take them seriously. Moreover, there is a lot of legal loopholes in the law on the sale and purchase of antiques and illegal excavations.