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Five Different Burial Styles Identified at Achaemenid and Sasanid Sites


News Category: Achaemenian (550-333 BCE) & Sasanian (224-651 CE) Dynasties

 02 December 2006



artaxrex_tomb.jpg (36645 bytes)LONDON, (CAIS) -- A team of archaeologists has identified five burial styles in the Achaemenid city of Pars and the Sasanid city of Estakhr, located on the outskirts of the 6,000-year-old Rahmatabad Tepe near Pasargadae in the Marvdasht region of Far Province, an expert working with the Parseh and Pasargadae Foundation said on Monday.


“The cities measure 8x8 kilometers and the excavations, which began in 2003, have resulted in the identification of five burial styles and the discovery of numerous Achaemenid, post-Achaemenid, and Sasanid graves in the cities,” Mohammad-Javad Jafari added.


“Bodies have been buried in rock tombs, vertical ossuary graves, horizontal ossuary graves, catacombs, and syrinx-style tombs,” he explained.


The post-Achaemenid era began after the collapse of the Achaemenid dynasty. Local kings ruled Pars (Persis) during the post-Achaemenid era in a kind of feudal system that was dominant in the region at the time.


“Rock tombs, which have also been seen at the ancient site of Tang-e Bolaghi, are categorized in three types. In the first type, the rock was specially cut for the burial place. In the second type, the corpse was placed in a natural crevice of a partially-cut rock, and in another form, the dead were buried in natural crevices of the rock without cutting,” Jafari said.


“The types of burial in rock tombs indicate the social system of that time,” he explained, adding that the rock tombs were carved out for people of high social status and natural crevices were used for ordinary people.


Most of the graves had been looted before 2003, when a number of guards, along with the archaeologists, were finally sent to the region, in another case of Iranian officials closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.


Located 140 kilometers north of Shiraz , the provincial capital of Fars , Rahmatabad Tepe is one of the most significant ancient sites in the Marvdasht region. The tepe dates to the Chalcolithic era, like the Tall-e Bakun site on the plain of Persepolis.


Many unique artifacts have already been discovered by Iranian experts at the site during their geophysics surveys.


Estakhr was a city where Sasanid kings held their coronation ceremonies. The ancient site was one of the main ceremonial cities of the Sasanid monarchs.


A number of Iranian experts are currently preparing a topographic map of the city in order to document the 130-hectare site more precisely. The latest maps of the city were prepared by French archaeologists between the years 1934 and 1937, but they are not very accurate.


Artifacts from the Achaemenid era to the early Islamic era have also been found in Estakhr, which is located near the Achaemenid site of Naqsh-e Rostam.





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News Source: MNA




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