Sunday, December 24, 2006

Shrouded 5000-year-old child unearthed in southeastern Iran
The skeleton of a 5000-year-old child wrapped in a winding sheet was discovered at the foot of a wall in the Taleb Khan Mound, which is located near the Burnt City in Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

?The skeleton was discovered in a room of a house, while remnants of a white cloth were found around it. The cloth shows that the child had been shrouded before burial,? Mehdi Miri, the director of the archaeological team working at the site, said on Tuesday.

?It was common for children to be buried at home during prehistoric eras, but what astounds the archaeologists is that the Taleb Khan Mound is located a short distance from the Burnt City and was one of the city?s satellite villages, but the Burnt City has a cemetery separate from the urban area while the Taleb Khan site has burials in its residential area,? he explained.

The skeleton of the child, whose milk teeth still remain, has been sent to the Burnt City Research Center and a team of experts is carrying out botanical studies on pieces of the cloth at Zabol University.

The archaeologists discovered a similar burial at the site two years ago, but it had deteriorated and very little was left.

The team has also discovered many pottery works as well as several slings and grey dishes bearing motifs similar to those on the dishes discovered at the Jiroft ancient site in Kerman Province.

Four ovens for baking bread, which date back to about 2000 BC, are some of the other important finds made at the Taleb Khan Mound.

Most of the artifacts discovered at the Taleb Khan Mound date back to about 2800 BC, but the most significant fact about the site is that the settlement remained inhabited even after the Burnt City was abandoned.