Ancient jar burials discovered near Persian Gulf coast

February 5, 2009

TEHRAN -- An Iranian archaeological team has recently discovered ten Parthian era jar burials at the Nakhl-e Ebrahim site in Hormozgan Province.

The burials were unearthed during the second season of excavations carried out to save artifacts and information from the Parthian cemetery and castle located at a distance of three kilometers from the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.
The cemetery has almost completely been destroyed by smugglers of Iran’s cultural heritage.
One of the 17 graves discovered during the two seasons of excavations over the past two years used a different style of burial. It belongs to a child who was buried in a fetal position.
“All the graves show that jar burials were common in the region during the Parthian era. However, the different burial style of the child’s (grave) has astonished the team,” team director Siamak Sarlak told the Persian service of CHN on Tuesday.
“Some of the graves lacked any artifacts and some were full of gifts presented to the dead. Due to this fact, the Parthian social classes of the region can be studied,” he added.
He said that most of the artifacts recovered from the graves are ornaments made of soapstone.
The castle, 150 square meters of which has been unearthed during the latest season, is only a small part of a 100-hectare Parthian city that was previously identified at the Nakhl-e Ebrahim site.
Covering 30,000 square meters in area, a number of pools built for shrimp farming have invaded the perimeter of the castle and also caused damage to the structure.