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Discovery of 2000-Year-Old Samen Underground Shelter


19 March 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Discovery of several hand-dug corridors with a depth of 4 meters in Samen city of Malayer in Hamadan province confronted archeologists with a unique settlement in this city. Almost 20 human skeletons have been identified in the catacombs. However, archeologists have rejected the theory that this place was a cemetery and it is supposed that these corridors were used as shelters.

��A part of a corridor was unearthed by chance during the activities of the Telecommunication Department of Hamadan Province in one of the streets of Samen city. About 45 meters of these corridors with many branches have been discovered during the recent excavations. These corridors are hand-dug and there are some cubbyholes inside them,” said Farzad Forouzanfar, an anthropologist.

“Digging the earth on both sides of the city to reach to the depth revealed that the city had access to these underground corridors from both sides. The remains of human skeletons are either piled in one place or scattered. However, the existence of these skeletons does not give us a clue for a burial method as there are also some raised platforms and clays in the catacombs,” added Forouzanfar.

Due to the large amount of clays found, it is not easy to determine the exact date of the construction of these corridors. However, what is clear is that these corridors must have had different usage during different periods of time. Most probably these catacombs were used as a settlement area or shelter before it was changed into a burial place. Prior to these recent excavations, this place was called “the dead city” and had been estimated to date back to 3000 years ago. “Considering the discovered clays, it is supposed that most probably these corridors were constructed some 2000 years ago,” added Forouzanfar.

According to Forouzanfar, the corridors had several entrances and ventilators which have been destroyed due to the construction of the new city over it. Considering that these corridors were dug in 4-meters depth of the earth, some special equipment is needed to finish the excavations.



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Source: CHN



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