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Horses in Ancient Times Had Their Own Cemetery in Talesh




09 October 2005


Caspian breed; -The Caspian is extremely rare and barely pulled back from the edge of extinction in 1965. It is now being studied by leading archaeozoologists to prove the link between the modern Caspian and the tiny prehistoric horse of Persia.






Discovery of the 3,000-year-old cemetery of horses came as a surprise for the Gilan's "Tul Talesh" excavators. It was the first time ever that in a historical cemetery a section has specific to burying of horses has been found.

Horses are one of the animals that have accompanied human beings from the ancient times. This animal has been in the service of human beings in different aspects of daily life, wars, and work, always a big help for human beings. Therefore, its death was as mournful as the death of a close relative.

“In the outskirts of the pre-historic Talesh cemetery, we surprisingly encountered a space which was dedicated to burying horses. It was the first time that such an area has been found in a historical site, which has brought a lot of questions,” says Mohammadreza Khalatbari, head of the Pre-historic Archaeology Research Center, and director of Gilan Tul Talesh excavation team.

“There is no doubt that horses enjoyed a special place in the life of human beings in all periods of history and pre-history, but the fact that it was so respected by human beings that they dedicated the animals a special space in the cemetery is one of the latest discoveries of archaeologists,” says Khalatbari.

According to Khalatbari, during the previous archaeological excavations in Calouraz and Shahdad some buried horses had been found as well, but the difference is that they were buried along with their owners, and it is the first time ever a special cemetery for horses has been discovered.

There is no exact information about the traditional ceremony of burying horses in Tul Talesh so far, but archaeologists are determined to study the matter further during the next seasons of excavations.

The exact area of the land used for the horse cemetery is not yet known, but experts believe it to be some 2000-3000 square meters should have been dedicated to burying horses.

Horses were always the in service of human beings, and since the region of Tul Talesh is mountainous, horses were the most important animals of the region and the people showed a lot of respect towards them in the ancient times. Since Tul Talesh inhabitants lived in neighborhood to Mana and Urartu civilizations, horses had a special place in their life.



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