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Sassanid Royal Cemetery Discovered in Gour City

Tehran, 19 March 2006 (CHN) -- Archeological excavations in city of Gour in Fars province led to the discovery of a cemetery belonging to the Sassanid princes with some unique tub-like coffins which had never been discovered anywhere else in the country. The walls of this tomb are decorated with designs of Sassanid princes and its floor is painted with white, ochre, green and yellow colors.

"In order to carry out stratigraphy works in Gour historical city, we cleaned the well which had been dug at the beginning of the Islamic period most probably to reach water. When we were descending the well, we quite accidentally observed a strange designed floor; therefore we decided to widen the trench. This action resulted in discovery of a cemetery belonging to the Sassanid princess in the depth of 180 centimeters of the plain," said Leila Niakan, head of excavation team in Gour historical site.

This graveyard has not been unearthed completely by the excavation team; however, four tub-like coffins have been found so far in this graveyard. Two of these coffins were placed in a symmetrical position, but since the fourth coffin has not been unearthed completely, archeologists are not sure whether the other two are also in a symmetrical position or not.

According to Niakan, this is the first time such kind of coffins have been discovered. Some parts of these caskets have been decayed due to humidity and other natural factors.

"Most parts of these tombs were destroyed and the evidence remained indicates that some changes were made in them during the Islamic era. However, the remaining parts are still marvelous and worth studying. No skeletons or any gifts have been found in these coffins. We just found some fragments of bones which are not easy to be recognized due to the humidity. Therefore, we will send them to the laboratory of Cambridge University to be studied carefully by an Iranian anthropologist who works there," added Niakan.

According to Niakan, many parts of the paintings have also been destroyed due to humidity under the ground and restoration experts of ancient paintings are determined to preserve and maintain the area.

Archeological evidence indicate that the numbers of the coffins are much more than what has been unearthed so far, but since this season of archeological excavations has ended, the rest of them will not be unearthed until the start of the next season of excavations. In the meantime, to prevent any act of plundering by illegal diggers, cultural heritage guards are present to protect Gour historical site.

Historical city of Gour, located near Firuz Abad in Fars province, is the first circle-shaped city of Iran, which was established during the third century AD by the order of Ardeshir Babakan (otherwise known as Ardeshir I), the founder of Sassanid dynasty, and was one of the most important cities during that period. This city had four main gates including Mehr gate on the east, Bahram gate on the west, Hormoz gate on the north, and Ardeshir gate on the south. Recent archeological excavations in this historical site, which were carried out under the supervision of Professor Dietrich, a German archeologist, resulted in numerous findings in this ancient site.

... Payvand News - 3/22/06 ... --

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