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25-centimeter Dwarf Remains has Puzzled Archaeologists


20 October 2005


(CHN) -- Two months ago the illegal excavations in the historical fortress of Gudiz in Kerman province near Shahdad city, which dates back to the Sassanid era, led to the discovery of a 25-centimeter corpse known as the mummified dwarf which has brought a lot of questions to archaeologists.

The corpse is covered by a thin layer, but experts believe that it must be a thin skin layer, and not materials used for mummification. A group of anthropologists will go to Kerman province in near future to determine the age and the gender of this corpse.

The forensic medicine studies indicate that the corpse has remained quiet intact during excavations. It is estimated that the corpse must have been 16-17 years old at the time of death and is 20 to 25 centimeters high. The theory of the existence of a dwarf city in Kerman province was proposed by the discovery of this dwarf corpse, and the short height of the remained walls discovered in the area, but archaeological studies denies the existence of such a city in the province.

“Since forensic studies could not determine the sexuality of the corpse, we can not rely on them to talk about the height and the age of the body, and more anthropological studies are still needed to find out the details about the discovery,” says Javadi, archeologist of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Kerman province. “Even if it is proved that the corpse belongs to a dwarf, we can not say for sure that the region of its discovery in Kerman province was the city of dwarfs. This is a very old region, which has been buried due to geographical changes. Besides technology was not so developed at that time so people may not have been able to build high walls for their houses,” he adds.

“Regarding the fact that in none of the periods in the history of Iran, we have had mummies, it is not accepted at all that this corpse is mummified. If this corpse is found to belong to Iran, it would be a fake one. Due to the minerals existing in the soil of this region, all of the skeletons here are decayed and no intact skeleton has been found so far. On the other hand the 38-year archeological excavations in Shahdad city deny any dwarf city in the region. The remained houses which their walls are 80 centimeters high were originally 190 centimeters. Some of the remained walls are 5 centimeters high, therefore should we claim that the people who live in these houses were 5 centimeters tall?” says Mirabedin Kaboli, head of archaeological excavations in Shahdad city.

The 25 centimeter boy has been discovered in an Islamic cemetery. No inscription has been found indicating the date of the burial. The grave has been completely destroyed due to excavations, therefore the burial method is not clear at all.