Friday, April 28, 2006

Discovery of a Cemetery to Unveil People’s Migration Path


Tehran, 28 April 2006 (CHN) -- Discovery of a 3200-year-old cemetery in Zarin Abad near Sari in Mazandaran province, revealed the migration path of those who were buried in Kharand historical cemetery in the nearby city of Semnan. Prior to this discovery, it was believed that cultural domain of the Kharand nomads only covered an area between Semnan plain and low heights of Caspian Sea southern shores. However, discovery of Zarin Abad cemetery in Sari which exhibits similar characteristics to that of Kharand showed that the culture of the ancient inhabitants of Kharand extends well beyond what had previously been assumed. Evidence of the existence of these ethnic groups can be traced in five northern provinces of Iran. Therefore, special studies were conducted in these provinces which include Golestan, Mazandaran, Semnan, Tehran, and Gilan to identify the path of migration of these tribes. Some similar sites to Kharand cemetery had already been discovered during previous archeological excavations in different parts of Iran’s Plateau; but the newly discovered cemetery in Zarin Abad is the most important of all which clearly shows evidence of culture of the people of Kharand miles away.
According to Abdolmotaleb Sharifi, head of excavation team in historical cemetery of Kharand, the recent excavations aimed at discovering different areas belonging to the Iron Age. He also said that the studies in Zarin Abad cemetery showed a lot of similarities between this cemetery with that of Kharand. Sharifi believes that there is a high possibility of finding more historical sites similar to that of Kharand Cemetery in other nearby provinces mentioned before.
Considering their characteristics and historical background, Zarin Abad and Kharand cemeteries are considered unique in Iran. Archeological studies in these cemeteries resulted in some strange discoveries about the cultural roots of Kharand ethnic groups.
Kharand graveyard is one of a kind cemeteries because of its untouched archeological remains and skeletons. The similarity between the artifacts found in the Kharand graves with the items excavated in Mazandaran led archeologists to believe that the answers to their questions regarding the lifestyle and migration pattern of the ancient inhabitants of Kharand can be found by expanding their excavations to cover a larger area around Semnan, where this cemetery is located. Therefore, a team of archeologists from Mazandaran, Gilan, and Semnan provinces are going to begin complementary studies in the southern coasts of Caspian Sea.

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