About Shahr-e Sukhteh

Shahr-e Sukhteh is a mud brick and an ancient city that located in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, near the Zahedan-Zabol road. It is related to Bronze Age urban settlement, associated with one of the largest communities and it is close to Jiroft and Helmand cultures. It was burnt down three times and after the last fire, it was never rebuilt. Therefore, it took this eventual name. This cultural heritage inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list and manifest the advent of first societies in southeastern Iran. Literal meaning of Shahr-e Sukhteh is ‘Burnt City’.

Shahr-e Sukhteh history
Shahr-e Sukhteh history

Sistan and Baluchestan province is one of the oldest regions of Iran with a long history. The Burned City is one of those heritages that has a long history. Throughout history, many civilizations have been formed. Many of these civilizations have been destroyed by various incidents and today there is nothing left of them, or even just one name. But what matters is their story and the insights they give us from the history of each region and country. Civilization in Iran has a very long history and in this sense we should place our country among the top countries in the world.


Shahr-e Sukhteh history

The burnt city is a precious legacy of the precious past on the Sistan and Baluchistan coasts, which today can be traced back to other pages of Iran’s history that had remained unknown, citing evidence obtained.

The burnt down town of Zabul, 56 kilometers from the Zabul Road, is an ancient city that is more than 5000 years old. The city dates back to the Bronze Age of Jiroft civilization. The burnt town was built on the banks of Hirmand River and Hamoun lake, which made it one of the main sources of income for the townspeople.

Shahr-e Sukhte
Shahr-e Sukhte

According to archaeologists, the city has a total area of ​​280 hectares. The burnt town had previously been divided into four main sections, including the residential area to the northeast, the central district, the industrial district, the monuments and the cemetery. People lived in a residential area of ​​80 acres.

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Evidence also show that in the past the city and surrounding areas were lush and there were trees such as willow, maple and poplar trees. However, the nature of the area today is limited to gazelle trees.
In the past, Hamoun lake which is not as happy nowadays as it used to be, has been a waterlogged lake that provided the foundation for such a civilization. Apart from its great antiquity, what was important to the city was the progress made at that time, making the burnt city one of the most advanced cities in the world.

In addition to engraving, forging, matting, jewelry, masonry, pottery and fishing, the textile industry has to be described as a boom in the city. 12 types of multi-colored fabric texture obtained from the ruins of this city attest this fact.

Shahr-e Sukhteh civilization

Regular potable water supply and sewage system is also one of the examples of a well-illustrated civil urbanization system in the city. On the other hand, the world’s first animation on burnt pottery from the burnt city represents the art of excellence at the time. Another interesting point is the discovery of an artificial eye in the excavations, which dates back centuries to medical and surgical science in Iran. Another odd thing to discover is a similar backgammon game in the city, which, given the ancient history of the burnt city, is making its appeal to Iranians.

The presence of such signs of advanced civilization between the ages of 2900 and 1900 BC makes Iranians one of the first rulers of human civilization. Of course, burnt city or Shahr-e Sukhteh was probably not the only civilization in Iran at that time, as there are evidences of other civilizations in Yahya Hill, TelAviv, Bam and Shahdad. In the year 1393 SH, burnt city registered as one of the valuable UNESCO heritage sites. The city was also nationalized earlier in the year 1385 and number 18983.

burnt city
burnt city

Shahr-e Sukhteh location

Obviously you have to travel to Zabul first to get to the burnt city. The burnt city is located 56 kilometers from Zabul on the edge of Zabul Road to Zahedan. We recommend using a personal car.

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You can also stay in one of the hotels or inns in Zabul. In the first six months of the year from 8 to 12 and 16 to 20 and in the next six months from 8 to 12 and 15 to 19, the remains of the burnt city can be visited. Remember, you are not allowed to enter this place on a Friday morning.

Note that the area is very hot, so we recommend you to visit it in the morning or at night. Also don’t forget the water bottle.

Highlights of Shahr-e Sukhteh

Since the beginning of human existence many civilizations have been created that have lived for some time, created their own history and then disappeared from the earth for a while, leaving only the monuments for survivors. Iran has a very ancient civilization that have been formed in our land. Shahre-e Sukhteh or burnt city is one of the legacies of the past which located in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Sistan and Baluchistan is an old city of Iran. The city’s long history has caused many monuments, one of which is burnt city or Shahr-e Sukhteh.

Shahr-e Sukhteh or burnt city
Shahr-e Sukhteh or burnt city

burnt city or Shahre-Sukhteh is on the road to Zahedan, 56 km from Zabul Road. The city was built more than 5000 years ago on the banks of the Hirmand River and Hamoun lake. The total area of ​​the city is 280 hectares and is divided into residential area, central area, industrial area, cemetery and monuments. The residential part of the city is 80 acres where people built and lived in the area at that time.

It is true that today this area is a waterless and grassy desert and you only get the Gaz tree, but in the past it was in the lush areas of Iran and there were trees like maple, poplar, mulberry willow and so on in the past, most civilizations were formed alongside rivers and lakes, and the main cause of this civilization was Lake Hamon, which was quite water-filled in ancient times. In this city, there are various industries such as textile, masonry, jewelry, etc. That made it one of the most advanced cities in the world. Among the ruins of burnt city are two types of fabric that indicate the successful textile industry of the city. There was a well-managed pottery system in the city for water supply and sewage.

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Other highlights of the city’s sophistication include the discovery of artificial eyes and backgammon-like games among the ruins. Studies of various evidences in Iran reveal that other civilizations lived in Iran before burning of the city before Christ.

For the first time, Colonel Beit, a British military officer, named the city burnt after visiting it, noting that it had seen the effects of the fire. Later, Italian archaeologists conducted research on the city for 11 years, from 1346 to 1357 SH. It is said that the main reason for destruction of this city was not the fires but two main elements of water and wind that destroyed the civilization over the years.

Shahr-e Sukhteh in archaeology

It is a significant and great archaeological site in terms of history, visiting graveyard, residential area and ruins. The objects found in the site include the oldest known and unearthed backgammon made of turquoise and agate, dice, a unique marble cup, pieces of crucible and slag, a human skull with symptoms indicate that brain surgery has been done in this prehistoric city, caraway seeds, bones of a male camel rider a messenger in ancient time) who has bone trauma, piece of leather adorned with drawings, an artificial eyeball that its surface is covered with a thin layer of gold and that gold lines patterned like sun rays, the World’s first animation and teeth unearthed indicated that the inhabitants of the city used their teeth as a tool for weaving to make baskets and other handmade products. These excavations are among the wonders of this city.

Shahre Sukhteh
Shahre Sukhteh

The excavations in Shahr-e Sukhteh indicate that inhabitants or residents were civilized, and both farmers and craftsman made a variety of woven products such as carpets, baskets, and other household items.