studies indicate that females constituted about
sixty percent of the population of the
5000-year-old Burnt City, director of a team of
anthropologists working on the ancient Iranian
city said on Monday.
“We have excavated 208 graves in the cemetery of
the Burnt City within seven phases carried out
over the past years. 113 of the graves belonged to
the female,” Farzad Foruzanfar added.
The Burnt City is located 57 kilometers from the
city of Zabol in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan
Province and covers an area of 150 hectares. It
was one of the world’s largest cities at the
dawn of the urban era. It was built circa 3200
B.C. and destroyed some time around 2100 B.C. The
city had four stages of civilization and was burnt
down three times. Since it was not rebuilt after
the last fire, it has been named the Burnt City.
In the Burnt City, archaeologists had already
discovered some seals indicating that women had a
key role in the social affairs of their city. They
say a kind of feminism was common in this
“Many different reasons have been given for this
fact, but the main reason is that men had the duty
to travel abroad for business. They had trade and
cultural relations with civilizations of Jiroft in
southern Iran, Mesopotamia in Iraq, and Namazgah
in Turkmenistan. Many of the men were killed in
accidents during their journeys and buried out of
their homeland,” Foruzanfar argued.
“On the other hand, our studies determine that
most of deaths in children and infants were male.
This is an ambiguous question, which need more
comprehensive studies,” he said.
Although many studies have been carried out on the
Burnt City, so far experts have not been able to
determine the ethnicity and language of the