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16 September 2006
3000-year-old warrior holding a sword discovered in Iran

Archeologists in Kouramar village in the northern Iranian province of Gilan discovered the remains of a skeleton with a sword in his hand, belonging to some 3000 years ago. According to Mohammad Reza Khalatbari, head of archeology team in Talesh, the remains of a large number of skeletons who were buried along with their swords had been discovered in the area in the past; however this is the first time a skeleton is discovered holding the sword in his hand.
     Discovery of the large number of weaponry in the area indicate that the people who lived here in the early years of the first millennium BCE were mostly warriors. The large number of graves in this historical cemetery, which is considered the largest one in the country, shows that the region was once a populated area, witnessing many battles which led to the loss of many lives.
     "The way this warrior is holding the sword is very interesting. He was buried on his side with the sword in his left hand towards his chest and his head. From the pommel to central ridge of the sword was placed on his chest and from central ridge to foible and point rests over his face. This indicates that the skeleton must have been that of a high ranking military commander of the time," said Khalatbari.
     Khalatbari explained that in addition to the sword, a big dagger, some clay dishes and a Riton (a kind of cup with the head of an animal, usually in the shape of a lion, horse, ibex, or winged lion attached) in shape of a reptile, possible snake with the head missing are the burial gifts which have been unearthed from the grave.

Source: Payvand (10 September 2006)

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