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Tepe Marlik 01

Identifier

022337

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

Despite the spelling difference we think this is the same site

Marlik is an ancient site near Roudbar in Iran.  Also known as Cheragh-Ali Tepe, it is located in the valley of Gohar Rud (crystal river), a tributary of Sepid Rud in Gilan Province in Northern Iran.

The mound at Mārlik is a rocky outcrop capped by several meters of sediment. It is surrounded by olive groves and fruit gardens owned and maintained by local villagers, overlooking rice paddies on the lower slopes of the valley. The site was already partly looted by treasure hunters and the archaeology team ‘were hindered by local corruption’, but some amazing artefacts were found.  The abundance of arms, horse-trappings (as well as horse burials), and spouted vessels among the grave goods is notable.  The artifacts found at this site date back to 3,000 years ago. Some of the artefacts contain amazing workmanship with gold.

A number of tombs were found. The initial Archaeology report concluded:

"In total, fifty-three tombs were discovered at Mārlik. The tombs were dug into the overlaying sediments of the mound, sometimes hitting and penetrating into the underlying bedrock. The tomb constructions vary from roughly dug pits lined with stone to fairly well-constructed examples with walls made from stone slabs bound together with mud mortar. The stone used in the tombs is mostly local, but in some tombs one could see yellowish slabs brought from the headwaters of the Gowharrud, some 15 km to the south. A few, evidently more important, tombs are entirely made of this imported stone, a potential indication to the social significance of the occupant. The tombs range in size from fairly small (1.5x1x1 m [Tomb 4]) to relatively large (7x4.5x2.5 m [Tomb 52]). Most tombs yielded very little or no large skeletal remains. In the handful of tombs, where partial skeletal remains where preserved, the body seemed to have been laid on its side on a large, flattened slab, surrounded by grave goods."

One question that should be asked is ‘were they tombs?’ or was this a site that used sensory deprivation to provoke rebirth and the skeletons that were found were the ones who didn’t make it.  All speculation, but gold is symbolic and so are horses.

A description of the experience

The source of the experience

Zoroastrian

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Goat
Twin horns

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Commonsteps

References

Gold cup decorated with Wild Goats. Gilan, Marlik Tepe, 10th-8th cent. B.C. Iran