2006, a joint team from the Archaeological Research Center
of Iran (ARCI) and Britain’s University of Newcastle
plans to begin a study to determine the reasons for the
variations in the growth rates of children in ancient
times at the 5200-year-old Burnt City in
have discovered over 400 graves during the eight phases of
excavations at the ancient city. Most of the children’s
skeletons indicate a fluctuation in their physical growth
rate which experts have not been able to explain.
skeletons show positive and negative growth in
children’s bodies, and it is very important for experts
to find a reason for this fact,” ARCI anthropologist
Farzad Foruzanfar told the Persian service of the Cultural
Heritage News (CHN) agency on Tuesday.
changes in growth occur suddenly, with causes other than
genetic and cultural factors, and the joint team aims to
study this subject, he added.
British team is led by Dr. Kirsi Lorentz, who is an expert
in environmental archaeology. She joined Iranian experts
working at the 3000-year-old cemetery of the ancient site
of Kharand in Semnan Province in early November to
determine the process of maturation of the region’s
children during ancient times and to study the impact of
the environment on this process.
Burnt City covers an area of 150 hectares and was one of
the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era.
It was built circa 3200 BC and destroyed some time around
2100 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was
burnt down three times. Since it was not rebuilt after the
last time it was burnt down, it has been named the Burnt
many studies have been carried out on the Burnt City, so
far experts have not been able to determine the ethnicity
and language of the city’s inhabitants.