[Home ] [Archive]   [ فارسی ]  
:: Main :: About :: Current Issue :: Archive :: Search :: Submit :: Contact ::
:: year 5, Issue 16 (9-2021) ::
Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2021, 5(16): 159-173 Back to browse issues page
Kan-Gohar Cave: Analysis of a Historical Event with Bioarcheological Methods
Mahsa Najafi1, Kamal Aldin Niknami 2, Saeid Golamzadeh3, Arkadiusz Sołtysiak4
1- M.A. in Archeology, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
2- Professor, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. , kniknami@ut.ac.ir
3- Vice Chancellor in Administration and Resources Development affairs, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4- Professor of Biology (Ancient Physics), University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
Abstract:   (1133 Views)
Abstract
In 2010 some human remains were discovered in Kan-Gohar cave, an iron mine which is located close to Bavanat city in Fars Province. By regarding the different hypothesis about the probable events which might have been occurred inside the cave and unknown date of them, after visiting the cave, a series of historical sources relevant to Bavanat regional history were considered. Some texts (e.g. Ale-Mozaffar and Timurid sources) pointed to the events which have been occurred in1350 AD through which after the death of Abu-Saeed Ilhkanid, people of a village in Bavanat were attacked by one of the Mongols son, so that all villagers to escape sheltered inside a cave to save their lives. But Mongol ruler ordered to set a huge fire in the entrance of the cave, thus all people were suffocated by the smoke and were killed in the cave. In order to compare these human remains with the mentioned event in historical sources, bioarchaeological studies were done with focus on violence using standard protocols of Buikstra & Ubelaker (1994). This method is rely almost solely on observations aiming to age estimation, sex determination, identification of pathological conditions and taphonomic agents. Considering the smoky roof and entrance of the cave, the number of females (37%), subadults (29%) and old individuals (30%) and lack of physical violence traces and observing the traces of burning on some of the bones, these assemblage of human remains are comparable with this historical event, with probability. These findings can provide an answer in order to find out the reason of discovering this human remains assemblage from Kan-Gohar cave. 
Keywords: Kan Gohar Cave, Bavanat City, Human Remains, Bioarchaeology, Archaeology of Violence.

Introduction
In 2010, a large number of human remains, burnt wooden objects and old shoes and clothing with lots of ash all around the cave specially in the entrance, were discovered from Kan-Gohar cave in Bavanat city in Fars Province. Since the bones were very well preserved, in addition to Fars Cultural Heritage Organization (CHO), Legal Medicine Organization (LMO) started to handle the studies on these bones, through collecting 47 skulls from the cave. The results of LMO studies revealed that most of the skulls belong to females and children, and they seemed that the skulls could not be assigned to the modern times and probably they are the victims of a firing. CHO studies by focus on cultural materials revealed that these are the mine workers who were killed by the collapse of the cave roof probably in the Safavid or Qajar periods. In addition to these hypothesis it was possible to assume that these human remains belong to people with dangerous infectious disease that are banished in this cave to save other people lives. Although there have been no a convincible answer, the case was closed. In 2015 through an archaeological survey project in Bavanat, and the director of this project stated that these are likely the victims of a war (Khanipour et al., 2015). After this project there was another chance to open this case for more investigation (Najafi 2018, Najafi et al., 2018). The aim of this article is to reveal the probable reason of discovering this human remains assemblage from Kan-Gohar cave. In this research 2 methods are used, the first, is studying the historical sources and the second is studying the human remains with using standard protocols (Buikstra & Ubelaker 1994). This method is rely almost solely on observations aiming to age estimation, sex determination, identification of pathological conditions and taphonomic agents. 

Discussion
Since the discovered cultural materials in the cave belong to Islamic Period, the relevant historical sources of different Islamic periods were evaluated. The result of this comprehensive survey on written sources revealed that some of the Ale-Mozaffar and Timurid sources would point to an event that has been occurred in 1343 AD. After the death of Abu-Saeed Ilkhanid, there was political instability and people of a village in Bavanat were attacked by one of the Mongols son, so that all villagers were sheltered inside a cave to save their lives. But Mongol ruler found the shelter and ordered to set a huge fire in the entrance of the cave, thus all people were killed in the cave through the influence of smoke. This event is mentioned in six sources with the same story. (Hafiz. Abru 1996, 1938, Qazvini 1993, Yazdi 1947, Kotobi 1985, Samarghandi 1993, Mirkhand 2001). So, this and it is possible that theses human remains are the victims of this event.
The results of bioarchaeological studies are related to age estimation, sex determination, identification of pathological conditions and taphonomic agents. The study of 40 skulls revealed 9 unidentifiable skulls, 15 females and 2 males. Age estimation showed 12 old individuals, 13 adults, 15 subadults (11 children and 4 adolescents). The pathological situations include pelagiocephaly in 16 skulls and it should be noted that this feature was observable in all ages, 5 old individuals, 6 children and 6 adults. 11 skulls were identified with porotic hyperostosis and 14 skulls with Cribra orbitalia. The last one is button Steoma in 6 skull. Taphonomic changes include smoky and burnt skulls with black and brown staining with post mortem breakage and crystalline spots. 3 antemortem trauma were identified that have been healed before death. No evidence of physical violence was observable on these skulls. 

Conclusion
The aim of this research is to find out why these human remains without usual burial practices are spread in this cave. The identified pathological items are not related to infectious disease and it is not acceptable that these individuals are abandoned in this cave, to die without hurting others. These human remains based on sex and age, don’t belong to mine workers, since almost all of them belong to old individuals, subadults and females that are not qualified to work in mine as mine workers. The reason of death isn’t roof collapse in the cave, since there is no evidences of pre-mortem breakage on the skulls that cause death. Based on the available proofs in archaeological context of these remains, like a thick layer of ash, burnt wooden materials and in some of the skulls, scattering bones in all around the cave and smoky entrance of the cave, it is likely that a huge fire was set in the entrance and the smoke has been scattered in all around and covered most places and objects too. Moreover the sex and age gender combination lead us to not only an accidental event in the cave, but also an organized action. One of the reasons that causes old individuals, children and subadults climbed the mountain and gather all together in such a dark and dangerous place, is a more dangerous event that can cause them to death. Based on this combination, the most probable reason can be war. So the geographical location of the cave, the condition of the context and age and gender combination prepare some clues to compare and connect it with the event which happened in Bavanat. These are likely the ones who sheltered in the cave to save their lives so they were killed with no physical violence, and they were suffocated by the smoke and died.  
Keywords: Kan Gohar Cave, Bavanat City, Human Remains, Bioarchaeology, Archaeology of Violence.
Full-Text [PDF 556 kb]   (137 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2020/04/23 | Accepted: 2020/07/17 | Published: 2021/09/1
References
1. - افشار، زهرا، (1397). «زیست‌باستان‌شناسی: مطالعۀ علمی بقایای اسکلت‌های انسانی به‌دست‌آمده از کاوش‌های باستان‌شناسی». پژوهۀ باستان‌سنجی، دورۀ 2، شمارۀ 4، صص: 92-81.
2. - پزشک، منوچهر، (1387). عصر فترت ایران در سده‌های میانه. تهران: ققنوس.
3. - چمبرلین، اندرو، (1397). جمعیت‌شناسی در باستان‌شناسی. ترجمۀ سحر بختیاری، سپیده بختیاری و مهران نوروزی‌آبادچی، تهران: آریارمنا.
4. - حافظ‌ابرو، عبدالله‌بن لطف‌‌الله، (1317). ذیل جامع‌التواریخ رشیدی. تهران: انتشارات علمی.
5. - حافظ‌ابرو، عبدالله‌بن لطف‌الله، (1372). زبده‌التواریخ. تهران: وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامی.
6. - حافظ‌ابرو، عبدالله‌بن لطف‌الله، (1375). جغرافیای حافظ‌ابرو. به‌کوشش: صادق سجادی، تهران: میراث مکتوب.
7. - حیدریان، محمود؛ و قاسمی، بهنام، (1394). استخوان‌شناسی در باستان‌شناسی. اصفهان: جهاد دانشگاهی.
8. - خانی‌پور، مرتضی؛ طهماسبی، ملیحه؛ نیکزاد، میثم؛ میرقادری، محمدامین؛ عمادی، حبیب؛ و طباطبایی، حمید، (1394). «گزارش توصیفی اولین فصل بررسی باستان‌شناسی بخش مرکزی و مزایجان شهرستان بوانات». مرکز اسناد پژوهشکدۀ باستان‌شناسی (منتشر‌نشده).
9. - راه‌پیما، عنایت‌الله، (1385). «غار کان‌گوهر از آثار باارزش زمین‌شناسی و میراث گذشته عهدمفرغ». ویژه‌نامۀ دلگشا، شمارۀ 7، ص. 4.
10. - سمرقندی، کمال‌الدین عبدالزراق، (1372). مطلع سعدین و مجمع بحرین. به‌اهتمام: عبدالحسین نوایی، تهران: مؤسسۀ مطالعات و تحقیقات فرهنگی (پژوهشگاه).
11. - کتبی، محمود، (1364). تاریخ آل‌مظفر. به‌اهتمام: عبدالحسین نوایی، تهران: امیرکبیر.
12. - محولاتی‌شمس‌آبادی، فرهاد، (1387). «ژنتیک کرانیوسینوستوز». ژنتیک در هزارۀ سوم، سال 6، شماره 2، صص: 1318-1305.
13. - مستوفی‌قزوینی، زین‌الدین‌بن حمدالله، (1372). ذیل تاریخ گزیده. به‌کوشش: ایرج افشار، تهران: نقش‌جهان.
14. - معلم‌یزدی، معین‌الدین‌بن‌ جلال‌الدین‌محمد، (1326). مواهب الهی در تاریخ آل‌مظفر. تصحیح: سعید نفیسی، جلد اول، تهران: اقبال.
15. - میرخواند، محمد‌بن خاوند‌شاه‌بن محمود، (1380). تاریخ روضه‌الصفا فی سیره‌الأنبیا و الملوک و الخلفا. تصحیح: جمشید کیانفر، جلد 5، تهران: اساطیر.
16. - میز، سایمن، (1396). باستان‌شناسی استخوان‌های انسان. ترجمۀ سمیه عدیلی. جلد 1، تهران: سمیرا .
17. - نجفی، مهسا، (1397). «کشتار در غار کان‌گوهر: تلفیق شواهد باستان‌شناسی و تاریخی». پایان‌نامۀ کارشناسی‌ارشد باستان‌شناسی دانشگاه تهران (منتشرنشده).
18. - نطنزی، معین‌الدین، (1336). منتخب‌التواریخ نطنزی. تصحیح: ژان اوبن، تهران: خیام.
20. - Buikstra, J. A. & Ubelaker, D. H., (Ed.), (1994). Standards for data collection from human skeletal remains. Arkansas archaeological survey research series 44. Fayetteville: Arkansas archaeological survey.
21. - Mann, R. W.; Symes, S. A. & BASS, W. M., (1987). “Maxillary suture obliteration: aging the human skeleton based on intact or fragmentary maxilla”. Journal of Forensic Sciences, No. 32, Pp: 148-157.
22. - Meindl, R. S. & Lovejoy O, C., (1985). “Ectocranial suture closure: a revised method for the determination of skeletal age at death based on the lateral-anterior sutures”. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, No. 68.1. Pp: 57-66.
23. - Najafi M.; Niknami K. A.; Gholamzadeh S.; Khanipour M. & Sołtysiak A., (2018). “Human remains from Kan-Gohar cave, Iran, 2010-2015”. Bioarchaelogy of the Near East, No. 12, Pp: 95-102.
24. - Niknami, K. A. & Ramezani, M., (2011). “Ali Kosh Lady and her artificially modified head: an appraisal”. Iranian Journal of Archaeological Studies, No. 1 (2), Pp: 17-24.
25. - Ortner, D. J., (2003). Identification of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains. 2nd ed. New York: Academic Press.
26. - Ortner, D. J. & Putschar, W. G. J., (1985). Identification of pathological conditions in human skeletal remains. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
27. - Smith, B. H., (1991). “Standards of human tooth formation and dental age assessment”. In: Advances in dental anthropology, M. Kelly, C. S. Larsen (eds), Pp: 143-268, Willey-Liss, New York
28. - Stuart-Macadam, P., (1985). “Protic hyperostosis: representative of a childhood condition”. American Journal of Physical anthropology, No. 66, Pp: 392-398.
29. - Sunderland, E. P.; Smith, C. J. & Sunderland, R., (1987). “A histological study of the chronology of initial mineralization in the human deciduous dentition”. Archive of oral biology, No. 32, Pp: 167-174.
30. - Todd, T. W. & Lyon, D. W. Jr., (1924). “Endocrinal suture closure its progress and age relationship, (Part 1) adult males of white stock”. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, No. 7, Pp: 325-384.
31. - Ubelaker, D. C., (1991). “Standards of human tooth formation and dental age assessment”. In: Advances in dental anthropology, M. Kelly and C. S. Larsen (eds.), Pp: Wiley-Liss, New York, pp. 143-168.
Send email to the article author

Add your comments about this article
Your username or Email:

CAPTCHA



XML   Persian Abstract   Print


Download citation:
BibTeX | RIS | EndNote | Medlars | ProCite | Reference Manager | RefWorks
Send citation to:

Najafi M, Niknami K A, Golamzadeh S, Sołtysiak A. Kan-Gohar Cave: Analysis of a Historical Event with Bioarcheological Methods. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2021; 5 (16) :159-173
URL: http://journal.richt.ir/mbp/article-1-324-en.html


Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
year 5, Issue 16 (9-2021) Back to browse issues page
فصلنامه مطالعات باستان شناسی پارسه Parseh Journal of Archaeological Studies
Persian site map - English site map - Created in 0.75 seconds with 30 queries by YEKTAWEB 4402