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Discovery of Grave of a Mother with her Daughter in Arms


News Category: Prehistory (from 8000 - 3400 BCE)

05  January 2006



Following the discovery of 108 graves in ancient site of Burnt City during the 9th season of archaeological excavations in this historical site, five other mass graves were found recently. Among these five mass graves, three graves contained bodies of women, two in each, who presumably died at the same time and were buried together.

“One of these graves belongs to a mother embracing her daughter. The other one contains two young 18 and 20 year-old girls who were buried together. The third grave belongs to a 30 to 40 year-old woman and a 17 to 20 years old girl,” said Farzad Forouzanfar, anthropologist who is part of the excavation team of Burnt City.

According to Forouzanfar, the bodies of the two young girls were buried in a deep grave in which three children from one to six years of age were buried later. In the grave of the mother and daughter, a young 20-25 year old man was buried later as well.

Most of the women were buried in a squat position which was most common in Burnt City at the time. Moreover, the ancient custom of burying pottery and glass with the dead as burial gifts can clearly be seen in almost all discovered graves.

The first discovered mass grave in Burnt City’s cemetery was that of two men which was found during last year’s excavations in the area.

Burnt City, situated in Sistan va Baluchistan province in southeast of Iran, has a cemetery with an area of 80 hectares which is considered one of the biggest historical cemeteries of the country and dates back to the third millennium BC. Valuable information about the culture and beliefs of the inhabitants of this historical city has been found during nine seasons of excavations. Different methods of burial are one of the issues that have attracted the attention of archaeologists during this season of excavation.

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. It is also one of the most important pre-historic sites of the country. Regarding the importance of this city and considering the geographical extent of Hirmand civilization that lived here in the past, Burnt City Research Center is determined to transform this historical site into the first international archaeological and anthropological research center of eastern half of the Iranian plateau.


News Source: Iran Cultural Heritage News Agency





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