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Remains of 3000-yearts old Warriors found in Kharand Cemetery 



05 October 2005


Spotting 5 similar tombs containing ancient warriors put forth a new puzzle. Speculations imply probable simultaneous death or killing of the men who have been buried with their spearheads and daggers in a ritual.

The ancient cemetery of Kharand is the burial place of the people who were living in the Semnan Plain 3000 years ago. Archaeological evidence shows its residents were nomads who repeatedly migrated between the Caspian Sea coast and Semnan Plain.

“In this season of excavation, beside some ancient artifacts, we also found 5 graves which contain 5 warriors with their daggers and spearheads. The graves are juxtaposed and we think their deaths were simultaneous,” said Abdolmotaleb Sharifi, head of Kharand ancient graveyard excavation team.

“The five men who must have been warriors,” he added, “were each buried with a dagger and spearhead on their right side, while their heads are leaned on their right shoulders. These prove that they must have been buried with a ritual that is unknown to us.”

Among the issues Kharand archaeologists are still surveying are the squatting graves. These kinds of graves which were excavated in an exploration 2 years ago in Gandab region, located in a 3-km distance from Kharand, prove the outbreak of a war in the region. Archaeologists hope to find other examples of those kinds of graves in Kharand.

According to Sharifi, the buried corpses in squatting graves in Gandab were completely armed, and this implies that in the second Iron Age (1250- 850 B.C), Semnan valley was the realm of wars and struggles which gradually ended in peace in the third Iron Age (850-550 B.C).

The corpses in the 5 newly found graves in Kharand lie in a supine position, however, their military tools indicate that some local struggles were running in the region in which these men were killed, believes Sharifi.

It is worth noting that these five daggers are different in style from the other daggers which have been previoulsy found in Kharand. This kind of burial is also rare in the archaeological sites.

The inhabitants of Kharand were using special vessels as gifts buried inside the tombs. Some sheep meat was also found in the ceramic vessels in the graves which prove that the inhabitants believed in life after death. The different kinds of burial styles depict the existence of different cultures in the region.

Kharand 3000 year-old graveyard is a unique one of its own kind because of its untouched remains and skeletons. The similarity between the artifacts found in the graves with the items excavated in Mazandaran, north of Iran, brought experts to the conclusion that the answers to the mystery can be found by exploration of the migration routes of nomads. Therefore, a team of archaeologists of Mazandaran, Gilan, and Semnan provinces are going to begin their studies in the south coast of Caspian Sea.

Kharand is located 51 kms of Semnan city. The third season of excavations began there without the presence of French parasitologists who were supposed to take part in the project, but were impeded by visa problems. 



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