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Recent Finds Suggest Kharg was a Partho-Sasanian Necropolitan-Island


13 December 2006




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LONDON, (CAIS) -- Director of the excavation team for Kharg Island in Persian Gulf has said that 80 percent of the research works conducted on the monuments and artifacts recovered from the area indicate that in ancient times, the region was devoid of a large number of settlements and possibly the island was used as Necropolis.

According to Persian service of ISNA, Hamid Zarei further said that the island was explored for the first time during which no architectural works and potteries, which are necessary evidence of civic life, were found. Therefore, it seems that the region was used for short stay and sailors, he said.

In addition to the graves, a further eighty-three rock-cut tombs have also been documented on Kharg. These comprise four main types of Zoroastrian astôdâns, which include single-chambered cavities, some small and niche-like  and others large, with flat ceilings; cavities of varying size with vaulted ceilings; shallow tombs of variable shape, ranging from trapezoidal and semi-circular to triangular; and pit burials excavated out of the surface rock of the plateau. According to Zarei none of the graves were covered with tomb stones, and all of them were plundered.

Also there are two large tomb-rocks known as Eastern and Southern Tombs, as well as the temple graves. The plans of the two tombs are nearly identical, although the Southern Tomb is 13 m. deep (i.e. from entrance to back wall), whereas the Eastern Tomb is only 9.3 m. deep. Each tomb presents the viewer with a double-arched, colonnade-like façade leading into a vestibule and a main chamber, to which up to twenty burial chambers (loculi) with channels for neatly sliding coffins into - one on top of the other, all hewn out of the living rock. It looks very much like a prototype for modern morgues.
Along the interior wall facing the entrance, the Southern Tomb is decorated with a bas-relief depicting a single reclining male on a couch in Parthian dynastic fashion holding a cup in his left hand.


The existence of these graves and no trace of permanent settlement have made archaeologists to believe that the Kharg was a sacred island during the Parthian (248 BCE - 224 CE) and the Sasanian dynastic eras (224-651 CE), and was used as a necropolis.


Kharg (Khārg, also sometimes written as Khark Island) is an Iranian island in the northeastern Persian Gulf located 25 km (16 miles) off the mainland coast and 483 km (300 miles) north of the Strait of Hormuz.




Extracted From/Source: Iran Daily & ISNA

Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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