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1 January 2006
Burnt City mothers suffered from malnutrition

A team of archaeologists working at the 5200-year-old Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchestan Province(Iran) believes that mothers of the ancient city suffered from malnutrition at one period of time due to the skeletons of stillborn fetuses recently discovered in the site's cemetery, the director of the team said. "The archaeologists unearthed the skeletons of the fetuses during the ninth phase of excavations. They believe that all of the fetuses were stillborn," Farzad Foruzanfar added.
     The archaeologists have several theories, with malnutrition of the mothers being the most important. Malnutrition is one of the most important factors which causes problems in the growth of fetuses and consequently causes stillbirths, Foruzanfar explained. The archaeologists have found no more evidence to prove their theory about the malnutrition of Burnt City mothers, and therefore further study of the matter is necessary.
     A number of Italian paleontologists were to accompany the team in the ninth phase of excavations in order to study the diseases common in the city, but the plan was not materialized due to some bureaucratic problems in Iran. A joint team from the Archaeological Research Center of Iran and Britain's University of Newcastle are to begin a study in early 2006 to determine the reasons for the variations in the growth rates of children in ancient times at the Burnt City.

Source: IranMania (31 December 2005)

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