| 7 January 2006
Discovery of ancient mass graves in Burnt City
Archaeologists unearthed more than 108 graves in the pre-historic cemetery of Burnt City (Iran) during their latest excavations in the site. In some of these graves, three to eight bodies were buried.
Remainings of 144 skeletons have been discovered during this season of excavation. The bones of 28 of them have been destroyed completely and thus further anthropological studies would not be possible on them. From the remaining 116 discovered skeletons, 31 belong to males, 36 to females, 30 to children, 8 to infants and 11 of them are embryos. "From the 108 discovered historical graves, 97 are individual graves, 5 of them contain two bodies, 2 of them are 3-person graves, and there are four other mass grave with four, five, six, and eight skeletons buried in them," explained Farzad Forouzanfar, anthropologist who is part of the excavation team of Burnt City.
According to Forouzanfar, the mass graves in which more than two bodies have been buried bear special importance in this season of excavation. Some of the discovered mass graves were family graves in which members of a family who died within a short period of time were buried. Some new burial methods were discovered during this season of excavation such as supine position, one-side position, prostrate position, and supine position with parenthetical legs, which are very important in archeological and anthropological studies. Such different methods of burial, together with the one-side position and squat position burials which were most common in Burnt City, indicate the coexistence of different cultures in the society.
Source: Persian Journal (4 January 2006)
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