Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Archaeology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


In 2014, the contractor company operating the Damghan-Neka gas transmission line demolished and exposed two Parthian burial mounds in the village of Vestemin. Vestemin is located 80 km south of Sari. The historic site of Vestemin includes the east cemetery, the west cemetery, the settlement site, the castle and the Islamic cemetery. Vestemin is the first Parthian site in Mazandaran that has been excavated. What distinguishes this cemetery from other Parthian cemeteries discovered in the Parthian cultural sphere is that its western cemetery contains family burial mounds, which are unique in terms of architecture. The burial mounds of Vestemin Cemetery have three sections: 1) rectangular spaces or corridors, 2) entrances or gates between the corridor and the crypt, and 3) the crypt room. All of the burials are mass graves. The number of people buried in the tombs varies from one to five, and the method of burial is mostly squat. Seals and ring seals with human, animal, bird, plant, geometric, rider and fireplace motifs are among the motifs found in the western burial mound cemetery. In using the seals as a gift, the gender of the deceased was does not seem to have been a determining factor. This collection of Parthian seals is unique in terms of the number and variety of seal designs.


Main Subjects

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