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Unique Iron Age Burial Discovered in Bistun Plain


23 August 2005



Latest excavations in Bistun Plain, 30 kilometers northeast of Kermanshah, west of Iran, has led to the discovery of a skeleton dating to some 3000 years ago, with metal rings on both legs.

“The skeleton is buried toward south on its left side, a burial method that is seen only during the third period of Iron Age,” explained Ali Sadjadi, head of the excavation team of Bistun Plain.

Experts have also discovered two jugs at the feet of the skeleton, and three bronze containers buried alongside. According to Sadjadi, the objects are proof that people believed in life after death during the time.

The skeleton is adorned with six metal rings around his right ankle and five around its left. The rings are 15 centimeters in diameter and 2 centimeters thick. The rings and objects found around the body show that the person has enjoyed high social and financial status during his life.

Excavations in the plain have also led to the discovery of potsherds from the prehistoric times in a depth of 3-4 meters, which experts believe are sign of the river running in the plain, Gamsiab, changing direction throughout time.

Experts have identified in the plain continuous historical periods from the third period of Iron Age to the time of the Ilkhanids (700 years ago).

Bistun Plain is spread at the foothill of Bistun Mountain where several ancient remains including prehistoric caves, a temple from the Median Imperial dynasty, the relief and inscription of the Achaemenid King of Kings Darius I the Great.




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