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Female population predominant in 5000-year-old Burnt City


07 April 2005


Anthropological 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 city-state.

“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 city’s inhabitants.





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