Study sheds new light on ancient cemetery in southeast Iran

April 3, 2022 - 21:30

TEHRAN –A study conducted by a team of Iranian archaeologists has revealed new clues on the ancient Damb-Kuh cemetery in the Makran region, southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province. 

Entitled “Architecture of burials in the 3rd century BC at Damb-Kuh, Sistan-Baluchestan”, the research investigates bonds between the historical site and Indus Valley Civilization as well as the southern Persian Gulf states, ILNA quoted Iranian archaeologist and scholar Morteza Hesari as saying on Saturday. 

There are many cultural similarities between these three areas, especially in the third millennium BC, one of which is the traditions of burying the dead, an indication of the cultural identity of the region, Hesari said. 

Burials and the traditions and customs associated with them have been part of human culture since ancient times, and there are many similarities between different cultures in this area, he explained. 

Damb-Kuh is one of the vastest cemeteries discovered in southwest Iran, containing relics dating to the 3rd millennium BC to the Islamic era, he mentioned. 

“According to research conducted in this cemetery, burials can be found from two distinct periods: the third millennium BC and the Parthian period, though a few burials from the second millennium and the Achaemenid period are also found.”

Burials at this site are different in shape and size, and their size probably reflected the status of the deceased, with a higher social status, graves were made bigger, he said. 

As a result, Damb-Kuh is not an ordinary cemetery but a place where social pride, class differences, and architectural skills were displayed, he concluded. 

Having nearly all kinds of historical tombs such as tomb towers, and rack-hewn tombs, Iran is heaven for cemetery enthusiasts and grave hunters; individuals who have a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries, epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art, and history of famous deaths.

Over the past couple of decades, countless archaeological surveys have been yielding ancient tombs, cemeteries many of which bear fresh evidence of ancient burial rituals and entombed objects dedicated to the afterlife.

The collective province -- Sistan in the north and Baluchestan in the south -- accounts for one of the driest regions of Iran with a slight increase in rainfall from east to west, and an obvious rise in humidity in the coastal regions. In ancient times, the region was a crossword of the Indus Valley and the Babylonian civilizations.

The province possesses special significance because of being located in a strategic transit location, especially Chabahar which is the only ocean port in Iran and the best and easiest access route of the middle Asian countries to free waters.

The vast province is home to several distinctive archaeological sites and natural attractions, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites, namely Shahr-e-Soukhteh (Burnt City) and Lut desert.


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