recent archaeological excavations in Gohar Tappeh in
Mazandaran province have led to the discovery of 3 clay
animal statuettes belonging to the Iron Age.
Such a discovery which has been made for the first time
faced archaeologists with new questions in regard to the
cultural context of the people in the north and northeast
of Iran. Archaeologists believe that these statuettes give
them the key source to identify the social classes in this
Mazandaran is one of the most ancient provinces in Iran.
Archaeological excavations indicate that the province has
been inhabited by humans since 400,000 years ago
until the present time, and that around 5000 years ago,
urbanization flourished in the area. Gohar Tappeh is a proof
to this claim.
“Following the archaeological excavations in Gohar Tappeh,
the remains of some horses, humped cows, and buffalo clay
statuettes were unearthed. These statuettes were almost
built in big size. Since none of the discovered statuettes
were that big, the question is that whether the statuettes
with such a big size indicate the social class of the
people of Gohar Tappeh or not. Most probably the statuettes
belonged to the rulers and the high class people of the
society,” says Ali Mahforouzi, director of the
excavation team of Gohar Tappeh.
Regarding the topography of the region, the archaeological
excavations and the development of urbanization in this
historical site, archaeologists are looking for a temple
to find out the relation of these statuettes to a
Previous to this the archaeological excavations in Gohar Tappeh, resulted in the discovery of the remains of the
statuettes of some cows, one of them was almost intact,
which were most probably used in religious ceremonies. The
discovery of these sculptures indicates that the people of
the region considered cow as sacred 5000 yeas ago.
“These statuettes are quiet realistic. The horse
statuettes were built with saddle, riding equipments, and
in a running position. The lengths of statuettes are 25 to
36 cm. with 15 to 23 cm. high. The big size of the
statuette indicates the importance of this animal to the
people of the region during the ancient times,” added
The artistic style of the discovered statuettes in Gohar Tappeh
indicate a kind of realistic attitude in the artistic
style during the first millennium before the Christ in the
hand works of the artists.
Archaeologists believe that the efficiency, fertility,
transporting, and the use of these animals in the farms
and agricultural works made them so important for human
beings in north parts of Iran.
According to Mahforouzi, the discovered statuettes are the
biggest ones which have been discovered so far in
The archaeological excavations in Gohar Tappeh continues for
2 months, and the team of archaeologists are to determine
forms of urban life 5000 years ago, remains of which are
evident in Gohar Tappeh.