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An Ancient Grave Accidentally Discovered in Siraf


News Category: Cultural

 17 November 2005



A grave accidentally discovered in the ancient city of Siraf has puzzled archaeologists. Due to its strange burial. None of the archaeologists seeing it have been able to determine its exact date.

Based on the evidence, unlike other remains of the area, the grave belongs neither to the Parthian or the Sassanid dynastic eras, nor to the Islamic period.

Visiting historical city of Siraf was one of the programs of Siraf international conference which was attended by almost 200 Iranian and foreign experts and archaeologists. It was during the visit that the unusual burial was discovered accidentally.

“At first we supposed the discovery to be an irrigation channel, but with close study of the pictures taken, archaeologists identified it as a grave. Most of the discovered evidence in Siraf dates back to Parthian, Sassanid, and Islamic periods, but the discovered grave has none of the characteristics of the burials of those times,” said Omid Esfandiari, member of Tehran’s Iranology Association.

“The discovered bones in the grave belong to the spine of a corpse,” added Esfandiari, explaining about the dating of the burial, “the corpse was not buried towards the Mecca, which is common since Islamic invasion of Iran.


On the other hand, during the Sassanid era there were catacombs, not graves. During the Parthian period, corpses were either buried in jars or in north-east direction and not much stones were used for the burial. However, the discovered grave is in north-south direction which is unusual for the site.”

According to Esfaniari, there is no sign on the grave stone. More excavations are needed to provide more information on the grave, resulting in the identification of some unknown mysteries of this ancient port.

Esfandiari believes the discovery could not have been an irrigation channel. “Regarding that Siraf weather was not rainy, we cannot say that it was an irrigation channel; moreover, due to the hot weather of the area, water would have vaporized right away. Maybe it was a place where the corpse was washed before burial,” noted the expert.

Siraf international conference started on 14th of November and finished yesterday 16th of November, during which numerous aspects of Siraf history, culture, trade, etc. were covered.




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