--Archaeologists have unearthed scores of graves
in excavation activities they have conducted on
the ancient "Burnt City." Objects found
inside the graves are indicative of the living
conditions of those found buried inside.
City is in the Southeastern border province of
Sistan and Baluchestan. Its history of about 5000
years makes it one of the largest and most ancient
sites in the Middle East.
industrial and residential units, as well as
cemeteries and monumental relics litter its 151
hectares of land.
a grave, considered to be the richest in the area,
58 pieces of clay and marble pots were unearthed
belonging to a 30-year-old man.
The grave with the poorest yield had only
the corpse of a 25-year-old woman without anything
else. During the fourth phase of archaeological
excavations conducted on Burnt City, 25 human
skeletons were discovered, one of which belongs to
a 60-year-old woman still intact.
Whole skeletons of animals, mainly young goats
sacrificed and buried under the head of corpses,
were also unearthed in the course of the
excavations. According to Farzad Forouzanfar, the
anthropologist heading the excavation team, the
number of pots, the type of food cooked and the kind
of animals used for sacrifice were all indicative
of the social and economic standing of the
dead buried in the graves and pointed to their
belief in a day of resurrection. Excavations in
the city have thus far 158 skeletons in 134
graves. The average age of males at the time of
death was placed at 39 while that of females at
33; men had an average height of 162.7cm while
women had a height of 154.6cm. Archaeologists last
year discovered human settlements in the Burnt
City over a span of about 1000 square meters in an
area of 400 meters of excavations.
to Mansour Sajjadi, the head of the archaeological
team, the discovery of hundreds of clay human and
animal figurines lends further proof to the belief
that the place was once used as a temple site. The
figurines, measuring 8 to 10 centimetres, were
either discovered scattered individually in the
sites or in groups.
believe that the discovery of a large number of
seals and calculation devices in the site proves
that it was, in addition to being a religious
place, used as a centre for economic activities.
signs of the first human civilization, first
revealed in the Burnt City in 3200 BCE, remained
intact until 2100-2000 BCE and during the four
successive periods of history.