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Iron Age Inhabitants of Lafurak May Have Been Pacifist


23 May 2005



The team of Iranian archaeologists working at the newly discovered Iron Age cemetery in Lafurak village near Savadkuh in Mazandaran Province believe that the inhabitants of the site may have been pacifist, the director of the team said on Tuesday.


“No weapon has been found buried with the bodies in the graves in the late Iron Age cemetery. This fact indicates that the people lived in peace during that time,” Mehdi Abedini added.


The bodies in the cemetery were covered with a layer of special earthenware. Such a style of burial has never been seen in any other Iron Age site in Iran.


Burying their dead with their weapons was a custom for Iron Age people in Iran.


“The lack of weapons in graves has also been observed at other Iranian Iron Age sites, thus the archaeologists believe that the inhabitants of the site also lived in tranquility.


“On the other hand, the custom may have been abolished during the late Iron Age, but the first presumption is stronger,” Abedini said.


The archaeologists have also excavated three graves containing three skeletons with dolichocephalic (long-headed) skulls.


Experts have surmised that the three people belonged to a non-indigenous nation, since the inhabitants of Mazandaran at that time were a round-headed nation.


Since no other examples of skeletons with dolichocephalic skulls have been found in the region, it is believed that the ethnic group of the three people probably either left the Iranian plateau or immigrated to other regions of Iran.


Excavations at the site will have to be carried out at a hurried pace because the cemetery and village of Lafurak, as well as eleven other villages, will be submerged under the mud and water of the Alborz Dam when it becomes operational.





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