2023 Author: Adelina Croftoon | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 12:05
There is a small village in the remote desert of the Iranian province of South Khorasan Makhunik.
It remotely resembles numerous modern poor Iranian villages with squat houses made of clay and stones, but in fact it is believed that this is a very ancient settlement.
Most often, the age is called 1500 years, but traces of buildings that were at least 5 thousand years old were found here.
Now a little more than 500 people live here permanently, but the houses in which they live were built much later. Because in 200 ancient houses, modern people would be very cramped.
The fact is that the houses in Makhunik are designed for a maximum of small children, for people with a height of over 90 cm it will be banal to be inside any house. And the old local name of the village "Shahr-e Kotouleha" is translated as "city of short people".
What kind of little people are now almost impossible to understand. Was it a particular race or ethnicity, or did the townspeople suffer from inherited diseases that cause dwarfism? Riddle on riddle.
The village of Makhunik was partially buried under tons of sand for many centuries, only since 1940 archaeologists began massive excavations here, which continued until 1948. During the work, many household items were found that were used by the villagers, including stoves and working tools. That is, a fairly developed community lived here.
In the ancient houses there were not just low ceilings, but also very narrow passages and it was not some kind of sanctuary, people lived here all year round.
The sudden discovery that an ancient race of dwarfs probably existed in Iran quickly became the subject of many theories and speculations. Someone said that these were the most ordinary people, just a lot of starving people and therefore lagging behind people from other regions. Moreover, thousands of years ago, the growth of people was much lower than today.
House entrances are small even for children
However, the growth of the dwarfs from Makhunik was at least 50 cm lower than the growth of the inhabitants of Iran in those centuries, and they also faced regular droughts and famines. Also, some archaeologists expressed the idea that people of ordinary height lived in Makhunik, and houses and doorways were built so low due to desert storms, which often destroyed tall buildings.
For example, one Iranian archaeologist skeptically objects to the idea of the existence of a "race of dwarfs" and says that in those very old times, local villagers simply did not have developed technologies for building larger houses.
According to the most common version, people of small stature always lived in Makhunik, because they had very poor food. But about 100 years ago "civilization" came here, people began to eat better and children began to grow taller. That is, no "race of dwarfs" has ever existed, and the current inhabitants of the village are direct descendants of the ancient inhabitants.
The mysteries around the village were added when in 2005 the remains of a 25-centimeter human mummy were excavated here and the first analyzes determined that this man was 16-17 years old when he died. It was like the discovery of the century, if later it was not announced that subsequent research showed that the mummy is no more than 400 years old and it belongs to a premature baby.
Nevertheless, there are still various conspiracy theories according to which the first analyzes gave the correct result and these are the remains of an adult local resident, not a baby.
Dwarf legends can be found in virtually every advanced culture around the world. If you touch on archaeological finds, then the famous village is the first to come to mind. Skara Bray in the Orkney Islands in Scotland. It is also a Neolithic settlement, just like a village in Iran, and all the buildings here, doorways and even bedding are designed for very small people.
Most of all, the so-called "hobbits" (Homo floresiensis) from the Indonesian island of Flores. Their growth did not exceed 1 meter, and they existed about 60-100 thousand years ago. But there are no later traces of flores dwarfs.
In Africa, stunted pygmies still live, their height often does not exceed 124 cm, but the existence of stunted tribes in the cold northern territories of Scotland or in Iran, where the tropics are also not, is still unknown to science.
In Russia, the Nenets have legends about little people of the tribe sirtya (sikhirta) living underground. Close to them and the legends about "gone underground" Chudi white-eyed … And the Sami have told tales of tiny little people for centuries. chahkli (chakli), similar in description to the Scandinavian gnomes.