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A 3,000 Years-Old Burial of a Dog Discovered in North of Iran


23 June 2005



Intact Remains of a 3000-year-old dog buried like humans among humans have been discovered in Taleghan Tepe, north of Iran.



Dogs may have had special social status in the ancient Iran, making them worthy of burial among the humans with special burial rituals; or at least that is the case for one dog whose remains archaeologists have unearthed during excavations in the historical Kafshgar Kolah cemetery of Taleghan Tepe located at the northern city of Ghaem Shahr.

The dog skeleton which dates back to some 3000 years ago has been buried among the humans according to their burial rituals; therefore, experts believe that the dog has had a special status to deserve such great respect.

The historical Taleghan Tepe is located in the northern city of Ghaem shahr where a cemetery dating back to the Iron Age has been discovered.

Usually animal remains found in Iron Age graveyards include partial remains of dogs, sheep, and goats, buried in simple digs, but the new discovered dog is buried according to human rituals, among the humans, and its remains are surprisingly intact, explained head of Taleghan Tepe site, Hasan Rezvani.

“Like human beings, the dog is buried in a reclined position with human burial rituals. The only difference is that no gifts have been buried alongside it in the tomb,” added Razavi.

A man skeleton dating to the third era of the Iron Age has been found one meter from the dog discovery spot, one meter higher than the dog. Experts believe that he is the dog’s owner, or otherwise they both lived in the same period.

According to Rezai, during the Iron Age, cemeteries were among sacred places, allocated to special burials. Therefore, it is believed that the dog has had a special status among the people and dying before his owner, the animal has been buried in the humans’ cemetery with consent of all. The fact that no other animal remains have been unearthed from boring pits dug in the site has confirmed the special status of the dog.



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