Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS OF IRANIAN WORLD©
of 2000-Year-Old Samen Underground Shelter
19 March 2006
(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
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
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.
is the Light on the Path to Future"
British Institute of Persian Studies