TEHRAN, Feb. 3 (Mehr News Agency) -- A team of Iranian archaeologists has recently identified a unique burial style at the ancient Geravi cemetery near the Persian Gulf in Hormozgan Province.
Ten graves dating back to the Parthian and Sassanid periods have been dug out at the 100-hectare site during the first season of excavation, which was completed on January 20.
Based on these discoveries, the bodies were not buried directly in earth, team director Abbas Noruzi told the Persian service of CHN on Monday.
"The bodies were laid on a surface covered by tiny stones in a rocky area and then fenced in with stones up to 50 centimeters. Afterwards the opening of the structure was covered over by large, flat stones," he explained.
"The people also broke pottery over the grave and presented their gifts, mostly opal and shell beads, and then it was covered by cobblestones," he added.
Noruzi believes that breaking pottery work on the grave symbolized the end of life of the dead.
Only one of 10 graves contained a skeleton, which had been laid in a squatting posture. The bodies of the other graves had completely decayed due to the limy and acidic properties of the soil in the region.
Noruzi said that the team has discovered two kinds of poor and high quality pottery. The inferior pottery was produced by locals, but the high quality, the kind found broken over the graves, was imported from other regions.
This season of excavation commenced in mid November 2008 to save the site, which has been looted by smugglers of cultural heritage.
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