first intact personal insignia was unearthed in the satellite
hilltops of the mysterious Burnt City, in the eastern Iranian
province of Sistan-Baluchestan.
“The insignia is made of a river pebble and its color is
blackish gray. It is believed it used to belong to a
distinguished inhabitant of the city,” said Tahereh Shahraki,
member of excavation team in the historical site, dating 5,000
It seems the owner used the insignia to add his seal on
high-value documents. Hassan Sargazi, director of the Cultural
Heritage Organization in the province, noted the owner must have
applied the seal to indicate his lofty status in the society.
Archaeologists are now working on the design of the insignia,
which in some places appear to be symmetrical, but they are
absolutely certain it belongs to the Burnt City, most probably
annihilated in a massive fire. Other experts guess the change in
the course of Hirmand River could account for the inhabitants’
migration, leaving the city vulnerable to natural elements.
Earlier this year, archaeologists had discovered some insignias,
strikingly, in the grave of women of the ancient city. Experts
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 center for economic
activities. The 5,000-years-old history of the Burnt City makes
it one of the largest and most ancient sites in the Middle East.
Various industrial and residential units, as well as cemeteries
and monumental relics litter its 151 hectares of land.
Signs of civilization, first laid down in the Burnt City in 3200
B.C., remained intact up to the years 2100-2000 B.C. and during
four successive periods in history. One of the prominent relics
found in the Burnt City is a skull that according to the
anthropological studies, is the first evidence of brain
surgeries in prehistoric Persia.