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2 November 2005
3000-year-old warrior still fighting at Gohar-Tappeh

A team of archaeologists working at the 3000-year-old site of Gohar-Tappeh in Iran's northern province of Mazandaran have recently unearthed a skeleton of a warrior buried in an attacking pose with a dagger in his hands.
     "He is holding a 26-centimeter dagger and appears to be making a forward thrust. The evidence shows that he was originally buried in this pose," the director of the team, Ali Mahforuzi, said.
     This is the first burial of this kind to be discovered in Iran. The archaeologists have not yet been able to determine why the man was buried in this exact position.
     "Beside the skeleton, a number of dishes have also been found which seem to have been presented to the warrior. One of the dishes has some holes in it containing the remains of coal. Archaeologists had discovered such dishes before, but they could not determine the practical application, but the traces of coal indicate that the dish has been used for burning agalloch or other types of incense. The skeleton was also wearing a beautiful coiled shell necklace,"
Mahforuzi explained.
     Covering an area of 40 hectares, Gohar-Tappeh is located near the town of Behshahr. Ruins and other artifacts unearthed in this region indicate that the site dates back to the Iron Age, but further study is required to determine its specific period during the Iron Age.
     Archaeologists believe that the large extent of the site implies that the region was very developed in trade and competed with neighboring areas.
     Mazandaran is one of Iran's archaeological poles. Studies show that the region has been inhabited for over 400,000 years. Urbanization is thought to have developed in the region some time around 3000 BCE, and the new findings at Gohar-Tappeh provide further evidence for this theory. The excavations, which aim to determine the style of urbanization of the site, will continue until late November.

Source: Mehr News (30 October 2005)

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