The team of archaeologists currently
working at the Burnt City unearthed two graves in which
big bowls were used to cover the bodies of two stillborn
fetuses, the Persian service of CHN reported on Friday.
recent discovery has been a great surprise for the
archaeologists since it is so different from the other
graves at the site.
Burnt City covers an area of 150 hectares and was one of
the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era.
It was built circa 3200 BC and destroyed some time around
2100 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was
burnt down three times. Since it was not rebuilt after the
last blaze, it has been named the Burnt City.
Research Center of Iran (ARCI) anthropologist Farzad
Foruzanfar said that the discoveries were made during the
ninth stage of excavations at the cemetery of the ancient
the eleven buried stillborn fetuses, two were buried
differently. That is, after digging the grave, the fetus
was put inside and then an earthen bowl was placed over
the fetus to avoid direct contact with soil,” he added.
stated that the British expert in environmental
archaeology, Dr. Chris Lorentz from the University of
Newcastle, has noted that no such burial has been observed
in East Asia. She added that this burial tradition was
quite different from other areas, where the fetus was
placed inside a bowl.
to Lorentz, a similar burial method has only been observed
believe that mothers in the ancient city may have suffered
from malnutrition at one period of time, as the initial
studies on the skeletons of the stillborn fetuses suggest.
archaeologists have taken several possibilities into
consideration, with malnutrition being the general
consensus so far.
is one of the most important factors which causes problems
in the growth of fetuses and consequently causes
stillbirths, Foruzanfar had said shortly after the
no evidence clearly supports the malnutrition assumption
and further study of the matter is necessary.
400 graves were discovered during the eight previous
phases of excavations at the city-state.