Anthropologists found that the 400-year-old dwarf of Kerman is actually a premature baby mummified under natural processes.
Tehran, 16 November 2005 (CHN) -- Anthropological studies on the discovered mummy in Shahdad city of Kerman province proved it to belong to a premature infant mummified under natural processes, despite otherwise suggestions by forensic experts. Archaeologists estimate the skeleton to belong to at least 400 years ago.
Two months ago the illegal excavations in the historical fortress of Gudiz in Kerman province near Shahdad city, which dates back to the Sassanid era, led to the discovery of a 25-centimeter corpse which came to be known as the mummified dwarf. The discovery brought a lot of questions to archaeologists and forensic studies estimated that the corpse which is 20-25 centimeters high must have been 16-17 years old at the time of death.
"The skeleton belongs to a premature baby who, due to regional conditions and its burial method, has been mummified under natural processes," says Farzad Forouzanfar, an anthropologist of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran.
According to Forouzanfar, previous to this, some other mummies were also discovered in Kerman province. He says that whenever a corpse is exposed to some special climate conditions, it will dry out and naturally mummify.
"The skeleton was found next to a cemetery belonging to the Seljuk era (900 years ago), but archaeologists believe that it should date back to the late Islamic period. People lived in the region up to the Safavid era, but as there is no article or inscription alongside the mummy, determining the exact date of his burial is impossible," said Nader Alidadi Soliemani, archaeologist of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Kerman province.
The discovery of this dwarf corpse, which was planned to be sold for more than three million U.S. dollars in Germany by two smugglers arrested by Kerman police forces, and the short height of the remained walls discovered in the area raised the hypothesis of a buried dwarf city in the area; however, archaeologists opposed the idea from the beginning. This mummified dwarf caused great sensations among the public during the last 2 months, but now the dwarf is proven to be a premature baby and the mystery is solved.
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