Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS OF THE IRANIAN WORLD
Finds Suggest Kharg was a Partho-Sasanian Necropolitan-Island
13 December 2006
(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
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.
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
(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.
From/Source: Iran Daily & ISNA
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