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12/19/06

5000-Y-Old Shrouded Skeleton of a Child Found near Burnt City

By Maryam Tabeshian
 
Archeologists at the prehistoric Taleb Khan Tepe, southeast Iran, discovered the remaining skeleton of a child from the third millennium BC wrapped in a white garment.
 

Prehistoric Taleb Khan Tepe,
southeast Iran
 
Tehran, 18 December 2006 (CHN) -- Archeological excavations at the prehistoric Taleb Khan Tepe, southeast Iran, resulted in the discovery of the remaining skeleton of a child from the third millennium BC wrapped in a white garment. The skeleton was found buried under the wall of a house.
 
Announcing this news, Mehdi Miri, university professor and director of the archeology team at Taleb Khan Tepe told CHN that evidence shows the child, whose baby teeth have still remained, was shrouded before being buried.
 
Taleb Khan Tepe is an ancient mound located close to the historic site of Burnt City in Sistan va Baluchestan province. The site is considered one of Burnt City’s satellite villages. According to Miri, child burial in residential houses was commonly practiced in some areas 5000 years ago. However, he noted that the burial grounds at Burnt City were separated from residential dwellings, and considering that Taleb Khan Tepe is believed to have been located within the cultural scope of the Burnt City, archeologists are surprised to see such different burial method in this ancient mound.
 
The remaining skeleton of the child was sent to Burnt City Archeological Research Center to be studied by experts. Archeologists will also study the worn out pieces of cloth in which the skeleton was wrapped to find out what kind of fiber was used in making it.
 
Discovery of four ovens belonging to the second millennium BC which were found intact is among other achievements by archeologists at this ancient tepe. “We have so far unearthed large numbers of earthenware in Taleb Khan Tepe along with many slings, the use of which has not yet been clearly understood. We have also discovered gray vessels at this ancient site bearing designs typically seen on stoneware found in Jiroft,” explained Miri about some of the major discoveries in Taleb Khan Tepe.
 
Burnt City is one of the most important prehistoric sites of Iran and one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. It was built around 3200 BC and covers an area of 150 hectares. However, its cultural domain is spread over a 300,000 hectare area and includes 166 satellite villages, making it mainland-Iran’s largest prehistoric site. The city experienced four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times, which is why it was named ‘Burnt City.’
 
Most of the discovered objects at Taleb Khan Tepe belong to the second stage of civilization at Burnt City – that is 4800 years back. However, what makes this ancient tepe important is that it was continuously inhabited up until the Iron Age and was an active village even after Burnt City was abandoned by its inhabitants.
 
 

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