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26 December 2004
5000 years ago, women held power in Burnt City, Iran

According to the research by an archeological team in the burnt city (Iran), women comprised the most powerful group in this 5000-year-old city. The archeological team has found a great number of seals in the women's graves. In ancient societies, holding a seal was a sign of power, and was of 2 kinds: personal and governmental.  The burnt city ancient site located in Sistan-Baluchistan province, southeastern Iran, dates back to between 2000 and 3000 BCE.
     "In the ancient world, there were tools used as a means of economic control. Whoever had these tools at his disposal was among the most powerful people in the society", Mansour Sajjadi, the Iranian archeologist responsible for excavations in the burnt city told CHN. According to Sajjadi, during the excavations in the burnt city cemetery, 90% of the graves in which the seals were found belonged to women. Only 5% of these seals were found in men's graves. Sajjadi said, "Since we know that seals were buried with their owners 5000 years ago, it is reasonable to think the most important seals for the economic activities in the burnt city belonged to women. As the men worked as farmers and craftsmen away from the city, they reasonably had to give the seals to women who were always in the city, so that they were able to solve the problems of the city immediately."

Source: Persian Journal (23 December 2004)

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