(CAIS) -- X-ray and CT scan test results of the fourth
salt mummy indicate that the body belongs to a 16-year-old
male. Prior to this, archaeologists were not sure about
the sexuality of this mummy, which was the fourth salt
corpse discovered in the salt mine of Chehr-Abad (Chehr-Âbâd)
in Zanjan province.
This corpse, which is the most intact salt mummy found so
far, was discovered last January in Chehr-Abad mine in
Zanjan province. Parts of the body have been sent to
Oxford University to be dated.
Although the corpse had been called “salt man no. 4”,
the sexuality of the discovered body had not been
distinguished until recently. All other corpses were
certainly male wearing similar cloths, but the last one
was dressed more likely as a woman; and since it was much
shorter than the rest, experts had supposed that it might
have been a woman.
“Radiographic tests on the pelvis of the corpse indicate
that the body should have belonged to a man,” said Dr.
Jalal Jalal Shokuhi, radiologist and expert of ancient
“Considering the bone joints and the result of three
dimensional CT scans, the age of this salt boy is
estimated to be 16 years,” added Dr. Shokouhi.
“Many bones were broken due to the high pressure on the
corpse. These fractures are less on the chest and ribs and
more on the head and skull which have resulted in the
change in the form of the skull,” he added.
These tests will help to reconstruct the face of the
fourth mummy corpse. After the reconstruction of the face,
a polymer statue of the salt man can be produced.
“Tests done on the salty body are useful in its
pathology,” said Manije Hadiyan, an expert of
restoration of historical artifacts.
According to Hadiyan, being aware of the sensitive and
delicate body parts of the corpse is very important in
protecting it while it is being transferred.
The most intact salt body found in Chehr-Abad salt mine
was discovered in the part of the mine with the least
amount of salt. Archaeologists believe that the fact that
this body was mummified in a place with the least amount
of salt, and also that it has remained intact over
centuries, have made this body special in compare to the
three other salt men found earlier.
A belt, a leather cover containing a bone and a pair of
shoes were also found along with the forth salt man in
Chehr-Abad salt mine.
The first discovery of salt men and their belongings in
Chehr-Abad mine of Zanjan province dates back to some ten
years ago. They are among rare mummies discovered around
the world that are mummified as a result of natural
The fourth salt man, which is the most complete one of all
discovered, is now kept in one of the museums of Zanjan
city, preserved and kept under proper conditions.