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Disturbing a 7000-Year-Old Girl's Nap in Bolaghi Gorge

Tehran, 26 April 2006 (CHN) -- Archeological excavations in Bolaghi Gorge historical site led to discovery of the skeleton of a young girl belonging to 7000 years ago, who apparently died in her sleep due to an unknown reason.

"This is the first burial belonging to the Bacon Era (the fifth and fourth millennia BC) discovered so far during archeological excavations in Bolaghi Gorge historical site. We have succeeded in unearthing the skeleton of the girl without causing any damage to it," said Mojgan Seyedein, Iranian head of joint Iranian-German archeology team in Bolaghi Gorge.

According to Seyedein, eight stone beads have also been discovered with the skeleton of the girl. These stone beads were close to her wrist and neck. "The girl was buried while sleeping on her side and bending her legs with arms under her head like the sleep position of most children," added Seyedein.

This skeleton was discovered in area number 73 near one of the clay ovens dating back to the Bacon era. Prior to this, the remains of a skeleton belonging to the Iron Age (some 3500 years ago) were unearthed during the archeological excavations of the joint Iranian-Italian team in area number 76 which is close to area number 73. This new discovery is one of the oldest human remains unearthed so far in the Bolaghi Gorge area.

"After cautiously removing the soil which was covering the skeleton, we transferred the skeleton delicately to the Parse-Pasargadae Research Center without causing any changes to its original position," explained Seyedein.

According to Seyedein, the skeleton of this girl is completely intact, and even after the passing of 7000 years, her teeth have remained unharmed.

Considering the broken clays around the grave of the girl, archeologists believe that she should have lived during the Bacon era. Although the skeleton has been discovered near the clay oven, archeologists believe that there is no relation between them.

Burying the corpse in the floor of residential houses was one of the most common burial methods during the pre-historic time. Archeologists are now trying to figure out if it were also true about this 7000 year-old girl.

Archeological excavations in Bolaghi Gorge started when experts learned of the hazards the newly constructed Sivand Dam poses to this historical site. Several Iranian and foreign archeologists rushed to save this ancient site before flooding of the dam. Luckily, Iranian dam authorities accepted to postpone inauguration of the Sivand Dam until excavations finish in this area. Yet considering the enormous amount of historical relics hidden in this ancient site, it seems almost impossible to save all of them in any given time.

Iranian-German joint archeology team has continued its excavations in Bolaghi Gorge historical site since winter 2006 under the supervision of Mojgan Seyedein from Iran and Barbara Helwing from Germany. Due to the discovery of a new area near Sivand Dam which is believed to have been a settlement area belonging to the fifth millennium BC, they will continue their excavations until the end of May. The team has discovered 5 clay ovens belonging to the fifth millennium BC in area number 73 so far.

The 18-kilometer Bolaghi Gorge is located 9 kilometers from the world heritage site of Pasargadae and is considered part of its landscape. The Gorge is known to be the location of the ancient King Road built by the order of Darius the Great, the Achaemenid King.

The salvation project in Bolaghi Gorge started with the engagement of 8 international teams more than a year ago.

... Payvand News - 4/27/06 ... --

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