Antemortem Health Indicators And Burial Status: A Summary of Thesis Research of the Tepe Hasanlu Bronze- Seleuco-Parthian Period Burials, Iran.

Document Type : Original Article


Boston University, Forensic Anthropology, Boston, USA


From the years of 1956 through 1977, Archaeologist Robert H. Dyson, Jr., directed the excavations of the archaeological site of Tepe Hasanlu, located in the West Azerbaijan region of Iran. Several archaeological reports of the finds include the overview of over 400 skeletons discovered in Hasanlu’s Lower Mound cemetery, though only 97 were ever retained for osteological analysis (Pennsylvania Museum Excavation Notebooks). Totaling 113 burials examined, 88-individuals were derived from the Low Mound and 25 individuals were from the High Mound.
The excavated artifacts and skeletons are now divided between The Pennsylvania Museum and The National Museum of Iran in Tehran. The Upper and Lower Mound burials of Tepe Hasanlu were examined through bioarchaeological, osteological, and archaeological methodologies in an attempt to reveal the lifestyle, burial practices, and economy of the famous ancient city.
It was hypothesized that there is a correlation between pathological conditions, biological sex, and the perceived economic/social status of the Bronze through Seleuco-Parthian burials based on the associated grave goods and sociocultural characteristics viewed and examined within the burial space. This hypothesis was tested through skeletal and analysis of archaeological reports, and it was found that individual pathological conditions can correlate with burials classified under Levels 1 and 2, however, the Level 0 group is more variable.


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