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3000-Year-Old Skeleton of a Woman Unearthed in Bistun


20 July 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- A grave containing the skeleton of a woman was discovered in Bistun Plain during archeological excavations in the area. This skeleton was buried on her left side towards the south direction. This method of burial belongs to the Iron Age III in Western Iran (800-600 BCE) which coincides with Median Dynasty (728-550 BCE).

Anthropological studies on this skeletons revealed that it belongs to a 40-45 year-old woman. “This skeleton was discovered last year; however, due to inappropriate climatic conditions we were not able to unearth it until recently. Therefore, we deferred it to this year and succeeded in fulfilling the task recently after preparing the required conditions,” said Maliheh Mehdi Abadi, head of Bistun Mega Project.

According to her, the skeleton is currently being kept in the Bistun Center and considering that there are no museums in the area which can provide good conditions for keeping it, most probably the skeleton will remain in the Center until it is restored. She also said that after the studies on this skeleton are complete, it will be placed in a glass coffin to be displayed for public.

Along with this skeleton, two jars were also found which had been placed below her legs. There were also three bronze dishes scattered around it, which have been damaged over time. Mehdi Abadi believes that the existence of these objects in the grave indicate that the Iranian of that time must have believed in the afterlife.

Moreover, existence of 12 rings around the feet of the discovered skeleton in Bistun Plain has faced archeologists with an unknown custom which might have existed at the time of her death. Archeologists believe that these rings may show the custom of using these kinds of jewelry by women during the Iron Age III. However, it is not yet known whether they were being used during the life or after death.

This discovery of the skeleton and its special belongings has raised new questions about the exiting customs of the period. Among other objects found in the grave were three rings which were used for tying the hair which shows that the women plaited their hair and tied them with ring-shaped hairclips during the ancient times. A spiral bronze ring can also be seen around the finger of this skeleton.

Archeologists are also busy identifying three pillars of Khosrow Bridge in Bistun Plain through geophysical studies.

“Now that Bistun was registered in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, we are determined to carry out fundamental scientific studies in Bistun Plain by implementing new methods. We are also determined to document and revive sounding works of the previous years,” explained Mehdi Abadi.

Bistun historical site, located 30 kilometers northeast of Kermanshah, consists of numerous valuable historical remains such as the Median Temple, Darius the Great’ relief and frieze, post-Achaemenid statue of Hercules, and the Sasanid monument of Bistun. It is considered a unique historical site in Iran. The most important features of the complex are its Babylonian and Elamite cuneiforms. Also Darius the Great' inscription which marks the birth of the ancient Persian alphabet has been found in this ancient site.

On 13th of July 2006, Bistun was registered in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on a decision made by the World Heritage Committee on its 30th session which was held from 8-16 July 2006 in Lithuania. Archeological findings in the Bistun Plain, such as the skeleton of the woman found recently, show the rich cultural heritage of the area.






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Source: CHN

      Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.

     All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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