|16 October 2005
Bones of dismembered warriors unearthed in Iran
Archaeologists recently unearthed a great number of skeletons at the ancient site of Tul Talesh (Iran), which are believed to be the remains of warriors who were dismembered and killed in battle. The skeletons were found without heads, feet, and hands in the cemetery of Tul Talesh, which covers an area of 350 hectares. The cemetery is one of Iran’s unique ancient burial grounds and dates back to circa 1000 BCE.
"In a section of the cemetery, we discovered some skeletons buried with military equipment, including daggers and arrowheads; however, some of their body parts, such as heads, feet, and hands, are missing. The skeletons were found in graves of simple structure, unlike some other megalithic graves that had previously been found at the site. In addition, there are fewer artifacts buried with the bodies in comparison with the belongings found in the megalithic graves. The lower number of artifacts shows that the skeletons belong to persons of a lower class,” the director of the archaeological team working at the site said.
"We surmise that the bodies belong to a number of warriors killed in war and were buried based on a ritual common to the period. The inhabitants living in the region were neighbors of the Mannai kingdom and the powerful Urartu Empire," Mohammadreza Khalatbari explained.
Khalatbari announced that his team has unearthed skeletons of a man with military equipment and a woman wearing ornaments from a dolmen at Tul Talesh. In addition, archaeologists recently discovered a cemetery dedicated solely to horses at the site. Last year, they also discovered a cromlech at the site in which members of a family had been buried. The body of a woman with a golden goblet and a cuneiform inscription had been buried in the upper part of the cromlech.
Source: Tehran Times (13 October 2005)
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