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Third Salt Man Discovered in Zanjan


18 January 2005


The third Iranian salt man was taken out from under a two-ton rock in a salt mine in the central province of Zanjan, where nearly one month ago a similar discovery was made.

Remains of the third Iranian salt man was discovered from under a large rock following a two-week search in the historical salt mine of Zanjan where two other salt men dating back to the Sassanid era (224 – 651 AD) were previously found.

The skeleton is completely ruined due to the collapse of the mine and the downfall of a large rock on the body, which, according to the director general of Zanjan Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, Yahya Rahmati, has been the cause of his death. Items found with the skeleton, which include leather shoes, a leather bag, a terra cotta lamp and two cow horns which have probably been used for the transportation of oil, are mostly intact, Rahmati told CHN.

The excavation team has found fine salt crystals in the leather bag, which led them to believe that the man whom the skeleton belongs to had filled the bag and was going to take it out of the mine when the rock fell and killed him.

Rahmati explains that the discovery of the crushed skeleton of the salt man near the other previously found ones proves the hypothesis that the mine had collapsed in some point of time. However, more research is needed to study whether all three men had lived contemporaneously.

Numerous old tunnels and paths have also been identified in the mine.

The discovery of the crushed salt man comes nearly one month after that of the second one with some mats and crocks nearby, which miners accidentally came to. The first salt man now kept in the Iranian National Museum was discovered eleven years ago.




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