Shahr-e Sukhte

Shahr-e Sukhte

Shahr-e Sukhte (meaning: The Burnt City), also spelled as Shahr-e, is an archaeological site of a sizable Bronze Age urban settlement, associated with the Jiroft culture.

Shahr-e sukhteh represents the advent of the first complex societies in Sistan and Baluchistan province, southeastern part of Iran. It belongs to 3200 BC, and it was populated during four main periods up to 1800 BC, during the time when several developed distinct areas were within the city. In July 2014 it was placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

It shows that they’d built monuments, and had separated houses, burial place and construction or manufacture. In the early second millennium due to deviance of water routes and changes of the climate, the inhabitants abundant the city.

There are houses, burial mounds and large amount of unearthed remarkable ancient relics. Fortunately, due to the dry desert atmospheric condition of the region, the Shire has preserved well and this site has provided a precious source of information regarding the immersion of complex societies and the communication between them in the third millennium BC.

In December 2006, archaeologists discovered the world’s earliest known artificial eyeball in Shahr-e sukhteh. It has a hemispherical form and a diameter of just over 2.5 cm. It consists of very light material, probably bitumen paste. The surface of the artificial eye is covered with a thin layer of gold, engraved with a central circle (representing the iris) and gold lines patterned like sun rays. The female remains found with the artificial eye was 1.82 m tall, much taller than ordinary women of her time. On both sides of the eye are drilled tiny holes, through which a golden thread could hold the eyeball in place. Since microscopic research has shown that the eye socket showed clear imprints of the golden thread, the eyeball must have been worn during her lifetime. The woman’s skeleton has been dated to between 2900 and 2800 BCE.

The oldest known backgammon, dice and caraway seeds, together with numerous metallurgical finds (e.g. slag and crucible pieces), are among the finds which have been unearthed by archaeological excavations from Shahr-e sukhteh. Other objects found at the Shahr-e sukhteh include a human skull which indicates the practice of brain surgery and an earthen goblet depicting what archaeologists consider to be the first animation.

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