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3000-Year-Old Skeletons have been unearthed from Kharand Ancient Cemetery


24 October 2005


(CHN) -- Remains of 23 men, 10 women, and 2 children have been discovered during the archaeological excavations in Kharand cemetery.

The 3000-year-old cemetery of Kharand is located in Semnan plain. Archaeological evidence in the cemetery indicates that the people of this region were nomads and migrated in between the southern coast of the Caspian Sea and the Semnan plain in summer and winter.

“Within this season of excavation, 42 graves were unearthed, inside 34 of which remains of human skeletons have been found. Other graves of the cemetery have already been depredated by the illegal excavators,” says Farzad Forouzanfar, anthropologist of the Archaeological Research Center of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran (ICHTO).

According to Forouzanfar, among the 34 discovered skeletons, 23 belong to men, 10 to women, and 2 to children. Most of the skeletons have remained intact and two of them, a man and a woman, have been decayed less than 5 percent due to their burial location in the foothill.

“More than 90 percent of the discovered skeletons have long heads, and no special diseases have been identified in their remains so far,” adds Frouzanfar.

Previous to this, in Lafourak cemetery in Savadkuh region of Mazandaran, some skeletons with long heads were also discovered. This race is one of the rare discovered ones in Iran.

Until now, studies on the discovered skeletons of this cemetery indicate that most of them did not have serious bone problems, and just some of them suffered from arthritis diseases.

More anthropological studies will be carried out on the skeletons in the Archaeological Research Center of ICHTO.

Due to the intact skeletons unearthed from the ancient Kharand cemetery, it is being regarded as one of the most important historical sites of Iran. Some similarities between the articles of this cemetery with those of Mazandaran cemeteries attracted the engaged experts to Kharand cemetery to find the path trotted by migrating tribes in the ancient times. The cemetery dates back to the Iron Age (3450 to 2550 years ago).