(CAIS) -- Archaeological excavations in the vicinity
of Persepolis, Pars City, and Estakhr Sasanid City in the
foothill and the heights of Rahmat Mountain in Fars
province resulted in the discovery of five strange burial
methods and thousands of graves which date back to the
late Achaemenid period.
Rahmat Mountain was considered as a sacred mountain during
and after the Achaemenid dynastic era. Burials in this
mountain made it a holy place and the people insisted on
burying the dead bodies in this sacred mountain.
“There is an 8 by 8 kilometer area between Pars and
Estakhr cities in which archaeological excavations have
been carrying on since 2004 to identify the graves. The
excavations have led to the discovery and categorization
of five different methods of burial and thousands of
graves, most of which date back to the period that came
right after the fall of the Achaemenid kingdom and
continued to the early Sasanid period,” said Mohammad
Jafari, graduate student of archaeology in Tehran
University who is cooperating with Parse-Pasargadae
Research Center to carry out excavations in Rahmat
Late Achaemenid era is one of the important historical
periods of Fars province. During the period that followed
the collapse of the Achaemenid dynasty and lasted until
the Sasanid reign, several local rulers took control over
different parts of the province, which turned this
province into a colonization society.
“It seems that different methods of burial were used
during that era, the most practical of which was
apparently burying the bodies in stone graves which took
three forms. One was to bury the corpse after scraping the
stone of the mountain, another method was to dig further
into the natural cracks of the mountain to bury the corpse
in them, and the third method of burial was to bury the
dead in the natural cracks of the mountain without making
any changes in them,” explained Jafari about some
discovered burial methods in Rahmat Mountain.
According to Jafari, these three methods of burial in
stone graves reflect the social classes of the people in
ancient times. Most probably, the mountain was dug out for
the burial of the high class people of the society.
Cliff burials have also been observed in this mountain. In
this method, the mountain was cut and dug away and the
corpse was put inside. Archeologists believe that due to
the little space of these graves, most possibly the corpse
was put in the grave in a squad position.
Although large parts of these graves have already been
plundered by illegal diggers, there are still some untamed
regions in this historical site which need more
archeological excavations. Ever since the start of
excavations at Rahmat Mountain, the Cultural Heritage and
Tourism Organization of Iran has undertaken some security
measures to protect this area.