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Discovery of Three Thousand-Year-Old Remains of Burial Rituals in Qom Altars


17 July 2005



Discovering stony podiums near Sarem cemetery, a 3 thousand-year graveyard in Qom, led to belief that these podiums were actually altars in which sacrifice and religious rituals were practiced. Existence of these altars proves that the cemetery was limited to burial of noble people.

Discoveries of numerous ancient sites in Qom which date back to Iron Age (2550 to 3500 years ago) indicate the concentration of tribes of the era in this region.

Spotting several archeological sites in Shamshirgah last year led to discovery of more than 30 ancient sites that are probably the center of Bronze civilization.

“The podiums which were found in Shalmut (B) archaeological site are in the vicinity of the 3 thousand-year-old Sarem cemetery. The podiums are comparable to brick podium of Qoli Darvish and Sialk structures, except that the mentioned structures were political-memorial but the one in Qom is religious-memorial” said Mehrdad Malekzadeh, the head of archeological studies in Qom.

“The podiums which were probably altars,” added Malekzadeh, “were used for performing burial rituals”.

The recent excavations led to discoveries of unique tombs that might belong to nobles.

Malekzadeh believes that the podiums can be compared to what Herodotus described in his book as Persian altars for burial rituals.

The presence of stony castle of Shamshirgah as a habitation, Shalmut great cemetery, and a smaller graveyard which dedicated to noble people shows the concentration of Iron Age civilization in the region, a rare case in Iran.




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