Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Salt Men to Go to Cambridge


Tehran, 31 January 2006 (CHN) -- To implement genetics studies and DNA analysis, biopsy samples of salt men found in Chehr-Abad Mine in Zanjan Province are going to be transferred from Oxford to the University of Cambridge.
“Following the end of the second season of excavations in the Chehr-Abad Mine, some archaeology, anthropology and in particular genetic experts were invited to analyze the outcomes of studies carried out so far on the mummies,” said Abolfazl A’li, head of the archeological excavation team in Chehr-Abad.
“After the visit of Dr. Ashrafian, the Iranian expert in genetics in Cambridge University, some biopsies were taken from all mummies to be transferred to the University of Cambridge by him,” added A’li.
According to A’li, the outcome of genetic experiments on the mummies will not be declared at a determined date. “We are trying to publish the results of the genetic studies which have been done on the salt men together with the report of the second season of excavations.”
Moreover, A’li said that the final result on the age of mummies No. 2 and 3 will be announced by Oxford University within a few days. He also stressed that based on the outcomes of the studies, the death of these mummies did not occur simultaneously and there is a period of 500 years between the dates of their deaths.
The fourth salt man which was found at an ancient salt mine in Chehr-abad, Zanjan last year has been identified as a young adult. Examination of the man’s face shows that it lacks any beard and his height is 165-70 cm. This last found salt man is the most intact of all four found so far.

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