The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
LONDON, (CAIS) -- While studying skeletal remains belonging to a woman from the Sasanian dynastic era (224–651 CE), anthropologists identified evidence of syphilis in the woman. The skeleton was found near Kangelou Fortress, located in the Iranian northern province of Mazandaran.
this news, Farzad Forouzanfar, director of the anthropology department of
Iran’s Archaeology Research Centre, said: “Anthropological studies on the
remaining skeleton of a woman from the Sasanian dynastic period revealed that
she was 35 to 40 years of age at the time of death with a syphilis infection and
severe bone protuberance over right arm which point to the existence of syphilis
in the woman.”
spring, archaeologists directed by Saman Surtiji discovered three graves while
studying the path leading to the Sasanian Kangelou Fortress. Among the
discovered graves, one belonged to the Sasanian era while the other two were
from the post-Sasanian period. A earthenware vase in green glaze, a metal bowl
and six rings with agate gems bearing engravings as burial offerings were found
in the grave of the Sasanian woman, buried on her left side in a squat position.
Covering an area of 50 square meters, Kangelou is an oval-shaped monument with Sasanian architectural style constructed in three stories with rubbles, plaster, and mortar. The ruins also indicate that it had arches, transept-like extensions, and a tower protecting it against landslides.
According to Forouzanfar, the new finding proves that chronic or inherited syphilis existed in Europe and Asia in the early first millennium BCe, thereby disproving the theory that suggests the disease was spread across the world after crews of Christopher Columbus returning home from their expedition to the Americas.
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