Archaeologists unearthed more than 108
graves in the pre-historic cemetery of Burnt City during
their latest excavations in the site. In some of these
graves, three to eight bodies were buried.
Burnt City is one of the key historical sites of Iran.
Some unique relics such as the animated figure of a wild
mountain goat (Persian desert Ibex) on a clay barrel, which is believed to be the first
animation work in the history of the world, and a very
unique backgammon, which is also believed to be the oldest
one in the world, have been discovered in this historical
site during the archeological excavation. Different
methods of burial were one of the issues which have
attracted the special attention of archaeologists during
the 9 seasons of excavations.
“900 square meter of the central part and surroundings
of the Burnt City’s cemetery were unearthed during the
9th season of excavations in Burnt City, which resulted in
discovering of some new information about the culture of
the inhabitants of this historical site,” said Farzad
Forouzanfar, anthropologist who is part of the excavation
team of Burnt City.
Remaining of 144 skeletons have been discovered during
this season of excavation. The bones of 28 of them have
been destroyed completely and thus further anthropological
studies would not be possible on them. From the remaining
116 discovered skeletons, 31 belong to males, 36 to
females, 30 to children, 8 to infants and 11 of them are
“From the 108 discovered historical graves, 97 are
individual graves, 5 of them contain two bodies, 2 of them
are 3-person graves, and there are four other mass grave
with four, five, six, and eight skeletons buried in
them,” explained Forouzanfar.
According to Forouzanfar, the mass graves in which more
than two bodies have been buried bear special importance
in this season of excavation. Some of the discovered mass
graves were family graves in which members of a family who
died within a short period of time were buried.
Some new burial methods were discovered during this season
of excavation such as supine position, one-side position,
prostrate position, and supine position with parenthetical
legs, which are very important in archeological and
Such different methods of burial, together with the
one-side position and squat position burials which were
most common in Burnt City, indicate the coexistence of
different cultures in the society.
Discovery of the intact skeletons of a 70-year-old woman
and a young man in two different graves were also
considered as the most important discoveries in this
Burnt City, situated in Sistan va Baluchistan province in
southeast of Iran, is one of the most important
pre-historic sites of the country. Nine seasons of
archaeological excavations in the site indicate that Burnt
City was an important center of civilization and trade
some 5,000 years ago. Burnt City is regarded as a crucial
historical site in the eastern Iranian plateau.