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Iran invites British Experts to Participate in Study on Prehistoric Children


30 April 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- The Iranian Center for Archaeological Research (ICAR) has asked Britain’s University of Newcastle to collaborate on a project to study all the skeletons of children discovered at Iran’s prehistoric sites, the Persian service of CHN reported on Friday.


ICAR plans to conduct anthropological and pathological studies on the skeletons.


“The pathological studies will determine the quality of growth, nutrition, and the causes of death. We have written some letters to the University of Newcastle inviting them to participate in the project, which will examine the skeletons of all the children discovered at Iranian prehistoric sites,” ICAR Anthropology Department director Farzad Foruzanfar said.


“The prehistoric children’s skeletons have been one of the most important findings of archaeologists over the past few years. Children’s skeletons have been frequently seen at some of the sites, and this shows that there was a high death rate during the prehistoric periods,” he added.


Many of the skeletons have been discovered at the 5,200-year-old Burnt City (Shahr-e Sukhteh), near Zabol in southeastern Iran. Archaeologists found 11 children’s skeletons and the remains of many fetuses during the last phase of excavations carried out at the site last year.


“Qoli Darvish has recently been added to the list of Iran’s prehistoric sites. The site is expected to contain skeletons of children from these eras. The discovery of a pot burial in a house dating back to the third millennium BCE reminds us that we should anticipate seeing such burials at the site,” Foruzanfar said.


Qoli Darvish Tepe, which is located near Qom, has been seriously damaged by construction of the Qom-Jamkaran Highway over the past decade, such that only ten percent of the ancient site remains intact. The tepe once covered 50 hectares and was 30 meters in height, but now it is 6 meters in height and only 10 hectares of the site remain untouched. There is evidence that Qoli Darvish was inhabited from the fourth millennium BCE to the ninth century CE.


Dr. Kirsi Lorentz, a Lecturer in Environmental Archaeology from the University of Newcastle, has worked with Iranian archaeologists at the 3,000-year-old cemetery of Kharand in Iran’s northeastern province of Semnan and at the Burnt City.




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Source/Extracted From: MNA



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