Iran: Discovery of 4000-Year-Old Ridged Graves in Lama
Discovery of some ridged graves in which humans and animals were buried together in Lama Cemetery has raised new hopes for archeologists to find residential settlements in this area.
Tehran, 27 August 2006 (CHN) -- Second season of archeological excavations in the pre-historic cemetery of Lama in Kohkilouyeh-va-Boyer Ahmad province resulted in discovery of several ridged graves. The designs carved on the burial gifts unearthed in this cemetery are very similar to the New-Elamite designs which had already been found in Fars and Khuzestan provinces. Archeologists believe that most probably these graves date back to the second millennium BC.
In an interview with CHN, Hassan Rezvani, head of excavation team in Lama historical cemetery talked about new discoveries in the area and said: "We have not yet exhumed the graves, but we believe that the graves must entail some unique characteristics like the previous ones which had been unearthed during the first season of excavation. Human beings and animals were buried together in the graves. Based on archeological studies, this burial method was practiced during the ancient times to supply the dead with food!"
According to Rezvani, some studies have been undertaken on the historical relics which were unearthed during the previous season of archeological excavations that are now being kept in museum of Yasouj. "All the cultural evidence including clays, metal and bronze articles, different dishes, and the samples bones belonging to both human beings and animals were studied during 20 days of continual work in the museum of Yasouj. The designs which were engraved on the objects are very similar to the New Elamite designs already discovered in Fars and Khuzestan provinces. With continuation of excavations, we are hoping to identify some unknown residential settlements in this area," added Rezvani.
Lama Cemetery is located in Chal Shahin area in the township of Dena in Kohkilouyeh-va-Boyer Ahmad province. Some 53 graves were identified during archeological excavations in year 2000 in this cemetery. Initial studies on the findings revealed that the graves must have belonged to 3500-3000 years ago.
In this cemetery, rubbles and rocks were used in the construction of the graves and large pieces of stone were used to cover them. Different burial methods can be seen in some of the graves of this cemetery which belong to different periods of time. The remains of animal bones (mostly goat and sheep) have been discovered in most of the graves as burial offerings to the dead.