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Shahr-i Sokhta

Shahr-i Sokhta

Shahr-i Sokhta ("Burnt City") is an archaeological site of a Bronze Age urban settlement.

It is associated with the Jiroft culture, an "independent Bronze Age civilization with its own architecture and language", intermediate between Elam to the west and the Indus Valley Civilization to the east.

Covering an area of 151 hectares, Shahr-i Sokhta was one of the world's largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. In the western part of the site is a vast graveyard. It contains between 25,000 to 40,000 ancient graves

The settlement appeared around 3200 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times before being abandoned in 2100 BC. The site was discovered and investigated by Aurel Stein in the early 1900s.

Map of Shahr-i Sokhta


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

Jarek Pokrzywnicki Poland - 22-May-17

Shahr-i Sokhta by Jarek Pokrzywnicki

Site visited in May 2017. Sharhr-i Sokhta or Shahr-e Sūkhté (farsi name means exactly Burnt City in English) is located between Zabol and Zahedan (Iranian towns that are located close to Pakistan border, around 177 km from Zahedan and ca 55 from Zabol). In theory there is a convenient public transport from Zahedan (oficial taxi from Zahedan Bus Station to Zabol, a place in a car should cost around 5 Euro per person, one way). It is also possible to hire a taxi on your own for the whole trip (dar baste) - including waiting time - prices are negotiable.

The site consists of two parts: main excavations area covering around 150 ha - vast land where only 3 % of the ancient city is uncovered and prepared for visiting. Second part is a small museum located on the opposite side of the road, some 900 meters from the exavations entrance.

It is good to start visiting the site from small Visitors Centre (all the information, photos and maps are displayed in Farsi and English). Excavation site is serviced by circular hiking path covering all attractions (building sites, so called temples, craftsmen area, graveyards). Have in mind that currently it is almost a desert, no trees, no shadow so take plenty of water if you want to wander around.

The museum is relatively small but at least is under roof. The site itself is not very popular along Zahedan people but taxi drivers know the place.

And one important remark - the photo presented on this site - above in an official statement - is certainly not from Shahr-i Sokhta. It may be from Kuh-e Khuaja

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Community Rating

Community Rating 3.00. Based on 1 votes.

Site Info

Full name: Shahr-i Sokhta

Unesco ID: 1456

Inscribed: 2014

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 2   3   4  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2014 - Advisory Body overruled ICOMOS proposed Deferral, Malaysia & Lebanon provided Amendments to Inscribe
  • 2014 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Shahr-i Sokhta


The site has 11 connections.



  • Cemeteries: The graveyard located at the south and south-western part of the site contains 20,000-37,000 graves (AB ev)


  • Bronze Age: Located at the junction of Bronze Age trade routes (AB ev)
  • Historical Food Remains: During these investigations several categories of botanical remains such as cereals (grains and legumes),fruits, spices and wood were studied. (Nom File)
  • Oldest Buildings: - 3200-1800 BC "Founded around 3200 BC, it was populated during four main periods up to 1800 BC, during which time there developed several distinct areas within the city: those where monuments were built, and separate quarters for housing, burial and manufacture."

Human Activity

Individual People

  • Aurel Stein: The site was discovered and investigated by Aurel Stein in the early 1900s. (wiki)



  • Role of Women: A number of 5,000-year-old insignias, which were found in the graves of some female inhabitants, suggest that the women of the city enjoyed social and financial prominence.


2 community members have visited Shahr-i Sokhta.