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106 Sassanid Ossuary Tombs Discovered in Khark Island

12/23/06 By Soudabeh Sadigh

Archeologists at the Persian Gulf Island of Khark discovered 106 ossuary tombs belonging to the Sassanid dynastic era (224-651 AD) dug into a cliff.

Sassanid Ossuary Tombs where
bones of the dead were placed

Tehran, 23 December 2006 (CHN) -- Archeological excavations in the Persian Gulf Island of Khark led into discovery of 106 ossuary tombs dating back to the Sassanid dynastic era (224-651 AD) dug into a cliff.

"Ossuary tombs are graves which were used during the Sassanid dynastic period. We succeeded in identifying 106 ossuaries in Khark Island in the heart of a giant cliff. Discovery of large numbers of ossuary tombs indicates that this rock cliff was used as a cemetery 1700 years ago," said Hamid Zarei, head of archeology team in Khark Island to CHN.

The people of the Sassanid period used to dig holes in the rocks in which they placed remaining skeletons of their deceased. According to Zarei, in the newly discovered tombs, the corps was buried in an east-west direction, the reason of which is not known yet.

Regarding other discoveries in Khark Island, Zarei explained: "The archeology team has discovered a big cistern 12 meters in length and 3 meters in width which was dug in a cliff. A big aqueduct dating back to the Sassanid era which is 19 meters in depth has also been found in this area."

Some very invaluable historical evidence belonging to the Sassanid era has been discovered during this season of excavations in Khark Island. "We found two other Sassanid monuments including a fire temple, from which not much has remained, and a domed building with four columns during our studies in Khark Island," explained Zarei.

Discovery of a total of 96 Sassanid aqueducts, 5 of which have remained in use to this date, is among other major achievements by archeologists in Khark Island.

Khark, also written Kharg, is a continental island in the Persian Gulf and is considered part of Bushehr province, southern Iran. Recently, a team of archeologists from Bushehr province has started excavations in Khark Island to identify and register historic evidence of the region.

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