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Remains of a 5000-Y-Old Camel Rider Identified in Burnt City

By Maryam Tabeshian

Anthropologists studying skeletal remains found in the prehistoric Burnt City, southeast Iran, identified a camel rider among remaining skeletons which is believed to have been a courier who traveled around this region some 5000 years ago.

Skeletal remains suggest the person
used to ride on a large animal, possibly
a camel, for a long time

Tehran, 1 January 2007 (CHN) -- A team of anthropologists from the Anthropology Department of Iran's Archeology Research Center and the British New Castle University conducting paleo-pathological studies on the remaining skeletons of Burnt City adults announced that they succeeded in identifying a camel rider among the skeletal remains which belongs to a man from the 3rd millennium BC. Evidence of bone trauma suggests that this person lived most of his life on camelback, possibly from the time he was a young adult to the time of death.

According to Farzad Forouzanfar, director of the Anthropology Department of Iran's Archeology Research Center and head of the team of anthropologists at Burnt City, paleo-pathological studies on adult skeletal remains recently started along with the tenth season of archeological studies at this prehistoric site.

"During our studies, we came across an extremely unique case which belongs to a man who died between the ages of 40 to 45. His skeleton was unearthed in 2004 in Burnt City's cemetery with clear evidence of bone lesion on the right thighbone caused by riding on an animal for long time. Evidence shows that the person spent most of his lifetime on camelback since he was a young adult," explained Forouzanfar.

Paleo-pathological studies on the remaining skeletons of Burnt City inhabitants are anticipated to unravel mysteries regarding some of the most commonly practiced occupations in this prehistoric city during a 1200 year period in the 2nd and 3rd millennia BC.

According to Forouzanfar, a thin bone spur (known as osteophyte in medical terms) is developed on the lower parts of the skeleton's right thighbone which has also disturbed the tibia. He further said that this is an indication to the fact that the person used to fold his right leg while riding which shows that he could have ridden on a large animal such as camel or buffalo instead of a horse.

Considering the geographical location of Burnt City, it is almost certain that its inhabitants used large tamed animals for the transferring of goods and commodities in long journeys during the third millennium BC. However, folding one leg while riding on an animal most likely occurred while riding on camels for a long period.

Located in southeast Iran, the prehistoric site of Burnt City was considered a civilization hub during the 3rd millennium BC. It was also an important center for trade in the dawn of the urban era. Nine seasons of archeological excavations have so far been carried out in this prehistoric city and the 10th stage is now underway during which archeologists have been able to get their hands on numerous artifacts dated mostly to 5000 years ago.

... Payvand News - 1/1/07 ... --

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