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 5000-Years-Old Burial of a Couple Found in Mazandaran



03 October 2005


Discovery of a pair of skeletons belonging to a man and a woman, who were buried in a joint grave, in Gohar Tepe, Mazandaran province, has brought archaeologists some questions about the 5000-year-old people living in this historical site.

Gohar Tepe is the most important historical sites discovered so far in Mazandaran, north of Iran. The historical site of Gohar Tepe dates back to 5000 years ago, and the archaeological evidence there indicate that it should have been a big city at that time. From 5000 years ago to the Iron Age (3450-2550 years ago), it has been residence to different ethnic groups.

“In our latest archaeological excavations, we succeeded to discover a grave in which a man and a woman were buried together,” said Ali Mahforouzi, head of Gohar Tepe excavation team.

According to Mahforouzi, evidence indicates that the man and woman should have died simultaneously, most probably due to an accident not yet identified.

Couple burial was common of the Iron Age in some regions such as Lorestan, Tehran, and Gilan provinces.

“Some clay pieces have been found in this grave which prove that it belongs to the Iron Age. No ornamental articles except for the clay works have been found as burial gifts inside the tomb,” said Mahforouzi.

“The main characteristic of the grave is that the man and woman have been buried together. Their faces are in the east-west direction, and they are buried in a fetal or bowed position. Their teeth indicate that they should have been adults,” says Mahforouzi.

According to Mahforouzi, another such couple grave was discovered in Gohar Tepe two years ago, which was somehow different from the new one respecting the burial position. “The burial position in the previous one was 69. Most probably, there was a special meaning behind the burial system of the couples in Gohar Tepe, which today we do not know anything about,” added Mahforouzi.

The recent archaeological excavations in Gohar Tepe led to the discovery of some remains of cow statues, one of which is almost intact. It is supposed that they were used in religious ceremonies.

Archaeological excavations in Gohar Tepe will continue for 2 months, aiming at determining the ways of city life of human beings 5,000 years ago, evidence of which can be seen in Gohar Tepe.




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