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Search for Potters’ Graves Set to Begin at Burnt City



30 September 2005


A team of archaeologists plans to search for the graves of potters at the Burnt City during the ninth stage of excavations at the site, the Persian service of CHN announced on Friday.


Located 57 kilometers from the city of Zabol in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan Province, the Burnt City was one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era.


The head of the excavation team at the Burnt City, Mansur Sajjadi, said that the team is determined to identify the graves to learn more about the culture of workers in that era.


“The workshops were built outside of the city because of the pollution caused by the burning furnaces of the workshops. So the potters were obliged to build their houses near the workshops, and we think we will be able to find their graves near the workshops as well,” he added.


He pointed out that the discovery of the graves would not necessarily mean that high quality pieces of earthenware would be found, saying, “The earthenware in graves indicates the social level of the buried person. Graves with better pieces of earthenware show the person was of a higher class. And the potters were mostly from middle class families, so the discovery of their graves would shed light on the culture of workers of that society.”


The Burnt City covers an area of 150 hectares and was one of the world’s largest cities in the third millennium BC. It was built in 3200 BC and flourished until it was destroyed sometime around 2100 BC.


The city experienced four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times, and that is why it was named the Burnt City.


Although many studies have been carried out on the Burnt City, so far experts have not been able to determine the ethnicity and language of the city’s inhabitants.  




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