Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Archeology, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Boali Sinai University, Hamadan, Iran

2 Curatorial Affiliate, Division of Anthropology. Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University


Shell, as the natural shell of some mollusks, has always interested humans. Some of these ‎species have been part of man's diet since the beginning of his cultural development. In contrast, others ‎have been used as natural utensils or as ornaments. Among the people, the characteristics of this ‎shell group are clarified based on their spatial analysis, which is often placed in religious ‎contexts such as shrines as special offerings and gifts or grave gifts with the deceased‏. ‏While in ‎some Far Eastern cultures, they have been used as money in some cases. The Surkh  Lori is one ‎of the key areas of the second millennium BC. It is located in western Iran's region behind the mountain ‎‎(Lorestan). It was first excavated by Erich Schmidt in 1938 and introduced as a ‎temple. Many of the objects found in this area are votive offerings made by the area's people ‎for the good of this Temple. Among these objects, at least 532 sea shells have been found. Their origin is determined according to their biological typology from the Persian Gulf to the Sea of ‎Oman. The abundance of shells such as Kowzak or Cowries indicates that this Temple belonged to a ‎female goddess, probably "Ninlil," because of the accompaniment of such shells in the context of ‎the first millennium BC; It is commonly reported in the graves of women and children.


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