عنوان مقاله [English]
Burial is part of the spiritual and material culture of each nation, which has its own characteristics in each region and period. Since the burial method originates from the thoughts, ideas and culture of the society, by studying them, it is possible to reconstruct the process of cultural evolution of ancient societies. Studying burial practices and rituals has always been of the interest of researchers in the Sassanid field, and as a result of the researches, we see diversity in the burial practices of this period. Archaeological survey at the Bavanat River Basin, which took place in 2015, revealed evidence of two burial methods, including cairn burial or Khereft Khane, as well as pillar ossuary. Considering the variety of burial methods of this period in Fars, what were the burial methods of the Parthian and Sassanid eras in the Bavanat and what are the characteristics of the burial places? Therefore, the current research with a comparative-descriptive approach tries to explain the burials of the historical period of Bavanat in order to answer the raised questions. On top of the most of the Bavanat River basin Mountains, cairn burials have been identified that have a circular plan and are accumulate with stones of various dimensions with no mortar. Due to the wide distribution of cairn burials from Pakistan to southwestern Iran and the southern coasts of the Persian Gulf, different chronologies have been provided for such burials, however, according to the cultural materials obtained from other parts of Fars and comparing them to identification burials, this type of burial can be attributed to the Parthian and Sassanid periods. There are different opinions about the function of the second type of burial, pillar ossuary that according to the inscriptions obtained around of the city of Istakhr, they can be considered as having a burial function related to the Sassanid period that were identified at Pahneh Mil Fenjan and Cheraghkoshi sites.
Keywords: Partian, Sasanian, Cairn Burial, Khereft Khaneh, Dakhmak.
Bavanat County is located in the northeast of Fars province and consists of two districts: Markazi and Mazayjan. It is attempted to determine the studied region according to the natural geographical range without considering new political borders. To this end, the Bavanat River Basin which is located in two Districts of this county was surveyed. Archeological research was carried out in a survey and intensive way to identify all sites and relics that reflect the activities of past human societies in the region. In this research, in addition of using all the information of historical texts and environmental studies, it was tried to conduct a field study in the basin of Bavanat River and by studying different features and surface findings, the relationship between cultural sites and settlement patterns are investigated and meanwhile by comparing with the adjacent regions, the relationship between these cultural sites in different periods with the environment and geography of the region is studied. In general, the most important goals of this archaeological research in 2015 were as the following: identifying all historical sites of different periods of the region; preparing archaeological maps of the studied region in the different cultural periods; studying and investigating the process of settlement changes in different periods, presenting the sequence of the relative chronology of the region based on surface findings; studying the effect of environment on the formation of settlements; recognizing regional and trans-regional interactions based on surface findings. The existence of numerous settlements, castles, stone walls, ritual places such as Monj and Kouh Yaghi all show the prosperity and importance of this region in the Sassanid period. Despite the various researches that have been carried out about burial rituals and places, none of them have mentioned the burial places of the historical period of Bavanat region. During the archeological surveys that took place in Bavanat County, traces of historical burials were identified.
This region has high altitudes and several water resources and basins such as rivers, springs and streams in the region. The most important water source in this region is Bavanat River, which has a main role in the formation of the settlements of the region.
Following his studies in several regions around Iran, Stein conducted brief surveys and sounding in Bavanat as well (Stein, 1936). Furthermore, Helwing and Askari surveyed a number of sites in Monj as part of ICAR’s rescue survey in the Marvast Dam (Helwing, 2007). During the conducted researches, 200 sites that dated from the Neolithic to the late Islamic Period were identified. These sites include ancient sites, historical castles, temple, mosque, bridge, cemetery, mill, petroglyph, ancient mines, and slag site.
During the survey, cairns burial were identified in eight places in Bavanat river basin. Although these types of graves are named as cairn or Dambi burial, but among the local people of Fars, such graves are known as Khereft Khaneh. Another type of burials in this area is a pillar ossuary. The structure of this type of burial is in the form of holes and stone columns. The first type is a hole carved on the horizontal surface of large stones and rocks, which is similar to graves carved into the stone and the complete corpse is not placed in it, similar to the ossuary.
By studying the graves in Bavanat, it is possible to explain the ritual and burial structures of the region during the historical period. Cairn burial is one of the burial types in Bavanat, due to the wide geographical distribution of this type of graves, many efforts have been made to date these graves. The most important factor that has made the dating of these cemeteries difficult is the destruction and looting of the contents inside the grave. However, during the excavations that took place in this type of burial in Fars, they were generally dated to the Parthian and Sassanid periods, and by comparing the excavated samples, we can relatively compare the graves obtained from Bavanat to the Parthian and Sassanid periods.
The second type of burial in Bavanat is Dakhmak or pillar ossuary. The structure of this type of burial is in the form of holes and stone columns. The first type is a hole and carved on the horizontal surface of large stones and rocks, which is similar to cairn burial carved in the rock, and in terms of secondary burial and not placing a complete body in it, it is similar to Studan. Since according to the existing inscriptions, similar burials have been considered to have a funerary function, therefore, the samples found in the Bavanat can also be considered to have a funerary function and contemporary with the Sassanid era.
One of the characteristics of burials in the Parthian and Sassanid periods was their diversity, which has its own method and characteristics in different places. During the survey in Bavanat river basin, two types of burials were identified with structures known as cairn Burial and Dakhmak. Cairn Burials have more distribution and number in the region, so that in this survey, eight places were identified, and more graves can be identified in case of further survey. Dakhmak and columns were identified from the two places of the Mill Fenjan and the Cheraghkoshi, which according to the samples identified from Naqsh-Rostam, Istakhar, Semirom, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad and the reading of their inscriptions, can be used for burial and considered related to the Sassanid period. Cairn Burials exist in large areas of South and Southeast Iran as well as the southern coasts of the Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf, but there are pillar ossuary or Dakhmak burials only in limited areas, and with the samples identified from Bavanat, it is possible that Eastern Fars was also considered as one of the distribution areas of this type of burial.