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    * Burnt City *

    شهر سوخته

    (Wikipedia) - Shahr-e Sukhteh   (Redirected from Burnt City) Shahr-e Sukhteh Location Region Coordinates Type History Abandoned Periods Cultures Site notes Condition UNESCOWorld Heritage Site Type Criteria Designated Reference No. Region
    شهر سوخته
    Shown within Iran
    Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran
    30°35′43″N 61°19′35″E / 30.59528°N 61.32639°E / 30.59528; 61.32639Coordinates: 30°35′43″N 61°19′35″E / 30.59528°N 61.32639°E / 30.59528; 61.32639
    2100 BC
    Bronze Age
    Jiroft culture
    In ruins
    Official name: Shahr-I Sokhta
    ii, iii, iv
    2014 (38th session)

    Shahr-e Sūkhté (Persian: شهر سوخته‎, meaning " Burnt City"), also spelled as Shahr-e Sukhteh and Shahr-i Shōkhta, is an archaeological site of a sizable Bronze Age urban settlement, associated with the Jiroft culture. It is located in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, the southeastern part of Iran, on the bank of the Helmand River, near the Zahedan-Zabol road. In July 2014 it was placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

    The reasons for the unexpected rise and fall of the Burnt City are still wrapped in mystery. Artifacts recovered from the city demonstrate a peculiar incongruity with nearby civilizations of the time and it has been speculated that Shahr-e-Sookhteh might ultimately provide concrete evidence of a civilization east of prehistoric Persia that was independent of ancient Mesopotamia.



    Covering an area of 151 hectares, Shahr-e Sukhteh was one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. In the western part of the site is a vast graveyard, measuring 25 hk.s. It contains between 25,000 to 40,000 ancient graves.

    The settlement appeared around 3200 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times before being abandoned in 1800 BC.

    The site was discovered and investigated by Aurel Stein in the early 1900s.

    Beginning in 1967, the site was excavated by the Istituto italiano per l''Africa e l''Oriente (IsIAO) team led by Maurizio Tosi. That work continued until 1978. After a gap, work at the site was resumed by the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization team led by SMS Sajjadi. New discoveries are reported from time to time.

    FindsReproduction of drawing on a pottery vessel found in Shahr-e SookhtehAnimation of drawing on a pottery vessel found in Shahr-e Sookhteh, now in the National Museum of Iran. The ancient courier

    In one of the most recent discoveries from January, a team of Iranian and British anthropologists, working on human remains in the city from the 3rd millennium BC, identified a male camel rider who they believe was a messenger in ancient times.

    Studies of the skeletal remains belonging to the man reveal evidence of bone trauma, suggesting that he was a professional rider who most likely spent most of his life on camel back.

    Indications of riding are seen on the right leg bone of the man, who died at the age of 40 to 45. The swellings show that he continuously worked as a professional rider since he was a teenager. There are blade-shaped swellings on the lower part of the leg bone which indicate that he used to gather up his right leg while riding, suggesting that he rode on a large animal like a camel or ox. Although there is evidence showing that smaller draft animals were also used in the Burnt City, the act of gathering up a leg while riding is something that one does while riding a camel over long distances. Scientists, then, believe that the man was probably a courier who traveled regularly on camelback.

    Women''s role

    Some paleoanthropologists believe that mothers in the Burnt City had social and financial prominence. 5000 year-old insignias, made of river pebbles and believed to belong only to distinguished inhabitants of the city, were found in the graves of some female citizens. Some believe the female owners of the insignias used them to place their seal on valuable documents. Others believe the owners may have used the seal to indicate their lofty status in society.


    Paleopathological studies on 40 teeth unearthed in the Burnt City''s cemetery show that the inhabitants of the city used their teeth as a tool for weaving to make baskets and other handmade products.

    "More than 40 teeth lesions have been identified, the most prominent of which belongs to a young woman who used her teeth as a tool for weaving baskets and similar products," said Farzad Forouzanfar, director of the Anthropology Department of Iran''s Archeology Research Center and head of the anthropology team at the Burnt City in an interview with CHN.

    The use of teeth as a tool in the Burnt City is seen in both males and females of different age groups. Evidence shows that weaving was more than a hobby in the prehistoric city. It was one of the most common professions in the city which required a special skill. Residents made a variety of woven products such as carpets, baskets, and other household items.

    Studies are currently underway by anthropologists from Iran''s Archeology Research Center and England''s Newcastle University. The scientists hope to study bone fragments and teeth found in various parts of the Burnt City, especially those unearthed in its cemetery, which may unravel the mysteries over some of the most common occupations practiced by the region''s inhabitants.

    The excavations at the Burnt City also suggest that the inhabitants were a race of civilized people who were both farmers and craftsmen.

    Tags:Africa, Anthropology, Archaeology, Archeology, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Baluchestan, Baluchistan, British, Bronze Age, Burnt City, Cultural Heritage, England, Helmand, Iran, Iranian, Iranian Cultural Heritage, Jiroft, Mesopotamia, National Museum of Iran, Newcastle, Pacific, Persia, Persian, SMS, Sajjadi, Scientists, Sistan, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Sistan and Baluchistan, UNESCO, Wikipedia, World Heritage, World Heritage Site, Zabol, Zahedan

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