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6 January 2007
Anthropologists identify rider at Burnt City

A team of Iranian and British anthropologists working on human remains discovered at the 5200-year-old Burnt City (Iran) have identified a male rider who they believe was a messenger in ancient times.
     "Indications of riding are seen on the right leg bone of the man, who died at the age of 40 to 45. The swellings show that he had continuously worked as a professional rider since he was a teenager," the director of the Iranian anthropological team said. There are blade-shaped swellings on the lower part of the leg bone, Farzad Foruzanfar added. "The marks indicate that he had gathered his right leg while riding. Thus the riding was carried out on a big animal like a camel or ox," Foruzanfar explained.
       There is evidence that draft animals were used in the Burnt City in ancient times, but gathering a leg while riding is something someone does while riding a camel over long distances. Thus, it is surmised that the man was a courier who traveled regularly. Pathological studies on the skeletons discovered at the Burnt City cemetery are paving the way for the identification of the professions practiced in ancient times in the city, which was inhabited for about 1200 years. The studies are currently being carried out by experts from the Archaeological Research Center of Iran (ARCI) and a group of anthropologists of the University of Newcastle led by Dr. Kirsi Lorentz.
 
Source: Mehr News (1 January 2007)

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