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3000-Year-Old Remains of a Woman and her Dog Discovered in Narges Tappeh


08 October 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- Emergency excavations by archeologists in Narges Tappeh, located in the northern Iranian city of Gorgan, led into discovery of a grave dates back 1000 BCE containing skeletons of a mother and her infant as well as a dog and its poppy. Archeologists at Narges Tappeh have also been able to unearth a grave containing the skeleton of a man buried while sitting on his horse.


Regarding the recent findings in the pre-historic site of Narges Tappeh, Ghorban-Ali Abbasi, head of the excavation team at this ancient site said: “Our excavations resulted in finding skeletons of a mother and a child who died and were buried in this grave some 3000 years ago. On the left corner of the grave right above the skeleton’s head we also found skeletons of a dog and its whelp. There used to be a custom in this area at around the same time according to which a person was buried after death with all his or her belongings; so it is possible that the two dogs were buried alive along with their owner when she was being buried.”


According to this archeologist, the child is found buried between the mother’s legs with three clay vessels placed on the sides. “We did not find any other burial gifts in this grave which indicates that the woman may not have had a high social position at her time,” added Abbasi.


Abbasi also said that the skeletons of the man and his horse which were found in another grave in the same area belong to the first millennium BCE as well.


Archeological excavations in Narges Tappeh which originally started with the aim of saving the historic evidence in this ancient site from threats posed by the construction of an airport traced history of Narges Tappeh as far back as 5000 BCE.


Respect for dogs in Iranian culture was maintained throughout her long history. In ancient Persian folk etymology the word sag (dog) was derived from seh-yak (one third) because one third of its essence is human. According to a lost Avestan passage, preserved through Pahlavi translation in the Bundahišn, the dog was created "from the star station . . . for the protection of beneficent animals, as if blended of beneficent animals and people" (az star pâyag . . . pânagîh î gôspandân rây, chun gumêzag az gôspandân ud mardôhmân). Because he was held to be of moral character, his corpse was thought to be surrounded, like a good person's, by triumphant evil powers, and so was highly contaminating. Hence one of the places where earth suffers most is where the bodies of men and dogs are buried (Vd. 3.8). If a dog dies in a house, fire is to be taken out of that house, as when a person dies (Vd. 5.39-40), and the dog's body is to be carried like a human's to a place of burial.




Extracted From/Source: Cultural Heritage News Agency (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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