Parthian necropolis

Parthian necropolis unearthed in northern Iran

Tehran, July 6, IRNA – A rescue excavation in north of Iran has led to discovery of an ancient cemetery of Parthian Empire.

Vastmin is a village in Iranian Northern Province of Mazandaran which in recent days has attracted attentions of those interested in culture, history and archeology as a historical site of Arsacid age was unearthed during rescue excavations of the last month.

A village of 57 (according to 2006 census) now has got even more importance than Kiasar, the nearby city which is the capital of Chahardangeh District, in Sari County with a population of 3,590.

The diggings for pipe-laying operations to build Damghan-Neka gas pipeline led to the discovery as workers encountered some antiques of ancients in the construction area and informed the local authorities of ICHTO (Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization), MNA reported.

Following the report, the research department of the organization issued a two-month-long warrant permitting rescue excavations between June 6 and August 6.

The supervisor of the excavating team Abdolmotalleb Sharifi told the reporters that out of 15 catacombs discovered so far, just nine are not damaged and the rest are either vandalized by antiques smugglers or destructed by bulldozers digging for pipelaying.

The catacombs are comprised of chambers with 0.7 meter width, 1.7 meter length, and 2 to 2.5 meter height.

Sharifi also referred to a dome in the western wing of the necropolis with a height of 1.5 to 1.7 meter.

Hints at the site suggest that after the burial of the body, the belongings of the dead were also put in the chamber, and then the hole used for burying was blocked by mud and stone.

According to the findings, the chambers were used more than once and the clues hint that at least three corpses were buried in each chamber.