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3000-years-old Burial Chamber Found in Hamedan


News Category: Prehistory

Province of: Hamedân

 27 October 2005



(CHN) -- The Telecommunication Department of Hamedan found by chance an underground cemetery during its activities on one of the streets of Samen city

This 3000-year-old underground cemetery consists of a big hall at the end of a 10-meter long corridor and two 4x5-meter rooms at the end of a smaller corridor.

“Inside the chambers and corridors, a large amount of skeleton remains and clay dishes have been found. The existence of such large number of skeletons has made the space something like a dead city,” says Mohammad Rahim Ranjbaran, deputy of the Research Center of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Hamedan province.

Ranjbaran believes that this kind of burial is an indication of a special traditional burial ceremony during 3000 years ago, which was never seen before in other parts of Hamedan province.

The corpses were located in different sides of the room in foetal position. Alongside each of the skeletons some clay dishes can bee seen, remains inside which are evidence of the oblations and the foods left there.

This kind of foetal burying with clay dishes inside tombs had already been seen in Gourijan Tepe, but it is the first time ever that the dead have been discovered buried in underground chambers.

“Following the discovery of this underground city, some of the people of the area declared that they had already seen such cemeteries underneath their houses but since they were unaware of their importance, the rooms were damaged during architectural constructions,” added Ranjbaran.

Many of the skeletons of this underground cemetery are located at the rear room. Most of the clay dishes are broken, which may indicate that the cemetery was previously depredated.

According to Rajbaran, remains of fire burning can be seen in a hole beside one of the walls of the corridor.

Existence of a raised platform in part of this underground corridor and traces of soot on the walls indicate that the dead were being buried with special rituals.

The first program of the Cultural Heritage Organization of Hamadan province is to study more about this cemetery, and categorizing the rooms and corridors, cleaning the clays and skeletons, and doing necessary excavations.
Samen city is the center of Malayer city.