A team of German and British scientists is slated to visit Iran in May to assess the amount of damage inflicted on the Chehrabad saltmen. “The team will carry out DNA tests, and perform CT scans and surgery,” said head of Iran’s Archeology Research Center, Hassan Fazeli Nashli.
Iranian experts had expressed their concern about the critical condition of the saltmen, earlier this month, saying that the mummies were kept under non-standard circumstances.
“The studies are also expected to reveal the saltmen’s diet and the last food they ate before their death,” said Fazeli Nashli.
Located in the northwestern province of Zanjan, the historical Chehrabad salt mine has yielded six saltmen over the past decade.
Five salt mummies are kept at Iran’s National Museum and Zanjan’s Archaeology Museum, while the sixth one has been left untouched since a snowstorm hit its resting place in 2008.
The third, fourth and the fifth salt mummies date back to the Achaemenid era and the sixth one belongs to either the Parthian or the Sassanid era.