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Unique Burials and Human Skeletons Identified in Lafourak of Mazandaran


10 May 2005



Archaeological and paleontology studies on a graveyard dating to 2800 years ago in Lafourak of Mazandaran, north of Iran, led to the identification of three unique tombs among a group of 15.

Lafourak village is part of Savad Kouh area of Mazandaran. Excavations in the graveyard located next to the village have dated it to the late Iron Age, to 2800 years ago.

Archaeologists are carrying out new excavations and paleontology studies in the area to identify and save the ancient remains behind the Alborz Dam before it is flooded. Unique tombs with a type of human skeleton never found before in any other part of Iran, have been identified there.

Of the 15 tombs opened in the graveyard, three tombs have been found which are different from the rest. The tombs belong to a type of humans no more living in the northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, a paleontologist with the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), Farzad Forouzanfar, told CHN.

All the tombs found in Lafourak include skeletons buried either in fetus positions or to their sides, but the three different ones include skeletons on their backs covered with clay. Moreover, the race of these three skeletons is different than the other ones. As a result, Forouzanfar believes they have been immigrants to the area buried according to their own traditions after death. More studies are needed to find out their ethnicities.

“Since no other remains of such skulls have been found in any other part of Gilan and Mazandaran, it is believed that the people have emigrated out of the province to either other parts of Iran or to other countries,” said Forouzanfar. Samples of such skulls are not so far identified in other parts of Iran, and according to Forouzanfar, more detailed comparisons are needed to be carried out between the previously discovered bones elsewhere and the new ones.






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