The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
LONDON, (CAIS) -- The director of an archaeological team working at the Chehrabad Salt Mine in the Hamzehlu region near Zanjan said that a group of Oxford University archaeologists is interested in participating in the study on the salt men found at the mine.
group of Oxford University archaeologists has prepared a plan, asking to
participate in the study, and the Center for Archaeological Research is
investigating the plan,” Abolfazl Aali told the Persian service of CHN on
archaeologists will be invited to the project if their plan is approved by the
center. The collaboration would be a good experience for both sides,” he
year, pieces of clothing and DNA samples from three of the four ancient salt men
were sent to Oxford University for carbon-14 dating.
Chehrabad Salt Mine is one of the world’s unique ancient sites, but there are
also similar sites in other countries where their archaeologists have had many
experiences, which could be helpful for us,” Aali said.
bodies of people dubbed “salt men” have been unearthed by mineworkers over
the past ten years.
second and third salt men were discovered in November 2004 and January 2005.
Exploitation of the privately-owned mine was halted by the Cultural Heritage and
Tourism Organization (CHTO), and shortly afterwards, the Fourth Salt Man was
unearthed in March 2005.
on the Fourth Salt Man indicate that the body is 2000 years old and he was 15 or
16 years old at the time of death.
is still not clear when the other salt men lived, but archaeologists estimate
that the First Salt Man lived about 1700 years ago and died sometime between the
ages of 35 and 40. He is currently on display in a glass case at the National
Museum of Iran in Tehran.
legal status and ownership of the mine are in dispute, and the owner has sued
for damages. The CHTO is attempting to buy the mine so that it can legally
excavate the site.
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