Giant ancient tombs discovered in Iran

(ORDO NEWS) — An ancient cemetery with urn-like tombs has been discovered in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran. The cemetery was accidentally discovered while drilling oil wells on the Karun River in the city of Ahvaz.

In a cemetery located about 150 meters from the river, the remains of ancient people were found, some beige tombs covered with natural resin, Iranian archaeologist Hossein Feyzi said.

He said that the vase-shaped tombs were located towards the river and were probably built according to the principles of Mithraism.

In pre-Zoroastrian Iran, Mithraism was the worship of Mithra, the Iranian deity of the sun, justice, treaty, and battle.

This deity, known in the Roman Empire as Mithra during the second and third centuries AD, was revered as the patron of imperial loyalty. Mithraism quickly declined with the adoption of Christianity by Emperor Constantine in the early fourth century.

Preliminary research indicates that the cemetery dates back to the time of the Parthian Empire (247 BC – 224 AD), which once stretched from the northern banks of the Euphrates, in what is now central-eastern Turkey, to eastern Iran.

As for this type of burial in urns, it has been specifically designed for infants and young children since the Neolithic era. But the peak of the use of this burial method falls on the Parthian period.

As Feyzi mentioned, the newly discovered urn tombs can be compared and contrasted with those previously discovered in the Shoghab (cemetery) of Bushehr Province.

Shohab Cemetery, covering five hectares of land, located on the outskirts of Bushehr, is adjacent to other magnificent sites dating back to the eras of the Elamites (3200-539 BC) and the Sassanids (224-651 AD).

Previous excavations have revealed three types of burials, including rectangular tombstones, rectangular stone pit-tombs, and (giant) urn pits (elongated) in an east-west direction.

It is worth noting that many researchers believe that the southern parts of Khuzestan – and, in particular, Ahvaz and its environs – were once permanent settlements, starting from the Sassanid era.

And the discovery of this new cemetery in Ahvaz is a good indication of human settlements in the late Parthian period.

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