Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph. D Candidate, Department of Archaeology, University of Tehran

2 Professor, Department of Archaeology, University of Ruhr Bochum, Germany

3 Professor, Department of Archaeology, University of Tehran


The Chehrabad salt mine is one of the rare ancient salt mine in the world and the only identified salt mine in Iran which has evidences of salt extracting over a long time span from 500 BC to modern times. According to the field researches conducted so far, in the excavated area, mining activities are proven to be in use in the Achaemenid, Sasanian, Middle and Late Islamic periods. After the accidental discoveries in 1993 and 2004, several season of excavation and archaeological surveys, have been carried out in the mine and around it. Archaeological researches brought to light interesting results concerning the techniques, periods and extracting tools, also relation between salt mine and the archaeological sites around it. Digging deep tunnels inside the salt rock deposits in different dimensions and sizes and using the various extraction tools can be seen in the excavated area with the difference in details in all the aforementioned periods. The long- term salt extraction activities and multi- periodic collapse of the tunnels, have resulted the formation of various layers such as fall, occupation, mining and erosion layers in different parts of the mine and the filling many of its old tunnels. According to documents, Most of the discovered human remains were probably non- native miners who died during catastrophic mining accidents and mummified naturally.


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