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26 November 2005
400 skeletons unearthed at an ancient cemetery in Iran

Head of the International Anthropological Team working at Shahr-e Soukhteh near the city of Zabol, Sistan-Baluchestan province Farzad Forouzanfar (Iran), said that this historical area is the world best archaeological site for conducting research on human resources. He said that a variety of skeletons with decomposition ranging from one to 100 percent have been unearthed at Shahr-e Soukhteh cemetery. Forouzanfar added that due to the suitable soil of the site, a great number of skeletons have also been discovered at the graveyard. He said that the historical Shahr-e Soukhteh site, in particular its graveyard, has a unique position on account of its soil.
     Some 400 human skeletons of different age and sizes have been unearthed at the cemetery during eight seasonal excavations conducted at the site. "The studies by experts show that both men and women in the 5,000-year-old city of Shahr-e Soukhteh had been inflicted with spinal cord disorders. "The tallest skeleton discovered at the area belongs to a man 1.9 meters tall," he added.
     According to the research conducted in the area by experts, the women residing in Shahr-e Soukhteh in 3,200 BCE used to cooperate with men in economic activities and earning a living.
     The ninth excavation season in the historical site started about two weeks ago and a number of Iranian and French researchers are involved in it. Covering an area of 150 hectares, the ancient city of Shahr-e Soukhteh is located 55 km from Zabol on the fringes of Zabol-Zahedan road. Its cemetery covers 25 hectares and the city comprises memorial structures as well as residential and industrial districts.

Source: IRNA (23 November 2005)

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