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Burnt City Inhabitants Used their Teeth for Basket Weaving


10 January 2007




LONDON, (CAIS) -- The team of anthropologists studying skeletal remains at the prehistoric site of Burnt City, southeast Iran, succeeded in revealing more secrets about the city’s inhabitants through paleopathological studies on 40 teeth unearthed in the Burnt City’s cemetery. Evidence shows that the inhabitants of Burnt City used their teeth as a tool for weaving to make baskets and other handmade products some 5000 years ago.  


In an interview with Persian service of CHN, Farzad Forouzanfar, director of the Anthropology Department of Iran’s Archaeology Research Centre and head of the anthropology team at Burt City, said: “More than 40 teeth lesions have been identified, among which one of the most prominent ones belongs to a young woman who used her teeth as a tool for weaving baskets and similar products.”


The studies are currently underway by anthropologists from Iran’s Archaeology Research centre and the Newcastle University (UK). Anthropologists are hoping that studying the bone fragments and teeth found in various parts of the Burnt City, especially those unearthed in its cemetery, would unravel mysteries about some of the most common occupations practiced by the region’s inhabitants.


“The use of teeth as a tool in the Burnt City is seen in both males and females of different age groups. Evidence shows that weaving was not just a hobby at this prehistoric city; rather it was one of the most common professions that required a special skill practiced by Burnt City inhabitants who used their teeth to make different weaving products such as carpet and baskets”, added Frouzanfar.


Recently, anthropological studies on skeletal remains belonging to a man from the 3rd millennium BCE by the same team at Burnt City resulted in finding evidence of bone trauma which showed that he was a professional rider who spent most of his life more likely on camelback.


More than 600 skeletal remains have been unearthed in the cemetery of Burnt City so far. The remains are now being kept under special conditions by experts.


Located in the Iranian southeastern province of Sistan va Baluchestan, Burnt City is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Iran. The number of archaeological findings at this prehistoric city has surpassed that of any other archaeological site in Iran, making this region an important source of information for archaeologists.


Covering an area of 151 hectares, Burnt City used to be one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. It was built around 3200 BCE and destroyed nearly a millennium later in 2100 BCE. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times. Since it was not rebuilt after the last time it has been named the Burnt City.  




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, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.



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