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The Second Jar Burial of a Child Discovered in Gohar Tappeh


18 September 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- During the archeological excavations in Gohar Tappeh (also Tepe - Archaeological hill) historical site in Mazandaran province, archeologists discovered the remains of the skeleton of a child buried in a jar. This is the second time archeologists have faced a jar burial belonging to a child in Gohar Tappeh, reported Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN) on Sunday.


According to Ali Mahforouzi, archeologist and director of Gohar Tappeh excavation team, although this is only the second time that the skeleton of a child has been found buried in a jar, there are still not strong evidence to conclude that the bodies of all children were buried in jars in the first millennium BCE in this area.


“Last year, the first jar burial of a child was discovered in the surface layer of the hill during the archeological excavations in Gohar Tappeh. Since this type of burial method is mostly denoted to the Parthian dynastic era (248 BCE-224 CE), discovery of the first jar burial in Gohar Tappeh strengthens the theory which suggests the existence of Parthians in the area. Now discovery of the second jar burial next to the graves belonging to the Iron Age II (800-550 BCE) has raised new theories that maybe some children were buried in jars during the first millennium BCE for some reasons still unknown to archeologists,” said Mahforouzi.


The grave of children who were not buried in jars have also been discovered in Gohar Tappeh, which is why discovery of these two jar burials has amazed archeologists about the secret behind the practice of this kind of burial for some children in this historical site.


Mazandaran province and northeast of Greater-Iran were the homeland of the third Iranian dynasty, the Parthians, who liberated Iran from Seleucid invaders. However life in the archeological site of Gohar Tappeh extends beyond that and goes back to the third millennium BCE up to the end of Iron Age. Toward the end of the Iron Age, the inhabitants of this historical hill migrated to the other nearby areas for reasons still unknown to archeologists and historians.


With discovery of the second jar burial in this historical site and anthropological studies which are expected to be done on the skeleton of the child, archeologists are hoping to unveil the secret behind jar burials in the first millennium BCE.


Since the discovered jar containing the skeleton of the child was unearthed from the surface layer of the cemetery, and due to continuation of agricultural activities in the area, like many other discovered skeletons the skull of this one has been completely destroyed.


Gohar Tappeh historical site is located in the eastern parts of Mazandaran province between the cities of Neka and Behshahr, north of Iran. Evidence shows that from 7000 years ago to the first millenniums BCE, a lot of people lived in the region, enjoying an urban life since 5000 years ago. Discovery of architectural structures and graves in the region are evidence of continual life during the later centuries there. The material cultures recovered from the site, all point out to their origin of being Aryan (Indo-Iranian) stock. 




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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