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Ancient Cemetery Discovered in Ilam Province


24 July 2005



Archaeologists recently discovered a cemetery in Iran’s western province of Ilam which is thought to date back to the Iron Age, Ilam Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department official Salaheddin Abbasi said on Sunday.

Located near Sarab Karzan village in the Shirvan region of the province, the cemetery contains more than 100 graves, each bearing the remains of members of a single family.


“The gravestones, each weighing about one to five tons, have been placed on top of each other in a conical shape without any mortar,” Abbasi said.


“The position of the bodies differs from one grave to another. The inhabitants of the region of that time used to bury people based on some natural phenomena, such as the position of the sun in the sky. If someone died at sunrise or sunset, he/she was buried toward the east or west respectively,” he added.


There is evidence that the cemetery has been frequently excavated by smugglers, who have looted the items buried with the bodies, Abbasi said, adding, “However, some of the graves remain intact, which should be excavated by archaeologists in order to acquire more accurate information.”




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