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Published: August 6th 2017
In Golestan Province, located in northeastern Iran close to the border of Turkmenistan, an intriguing cemetery exists called Khalid Nabi where tombstones are made to look like male and female sex organs. This area is dated prior to the arrival of Islam and has survived nearly untouched due to being in a remote area.
From the city of Gorgan in Golestan province, the route to Khalid Nabi is very scenic - rolling green hills, local red flowers called shaghayegh, and fruit trees line the 2 lane road leading to Khalid Nabi. The drive there is approx 2 hours so plan a full day there.
The first impression of the site is the abundance of nature's beauty. Set in a backdrop of gorgeous green mountains, you have to be prepared to hike along a mountainous trail before arriving to the actual cemetary. The hike is just as enjoyable as the cemetarty itself. The locals are called Turkomans, and they speak an entirely different language from mainland Iran. Their friendly nature will surely leave you with a lasting impression of Persian hospitality. Our car became stuck in the mud and the locals came to push us out while the women offered
Once you get up the mountain, you will see the tombstones. Some are a few meters tall while others are shorter and close to the ground. There are 2 types. One is long and cylinder and the other is short and round.
Prior to birth certificates, passports, and IDs, people had to identify the dead. They had to get creative. One theory is that the tombstones were made in the size and shape of the deceased men's sex organs and women's breasts. We can only speculate as to their origin and meaning but we know that these ancient tombstones leave more questions than answers. A site so remarkable you have to see it to believe it.
Scroll down for all 19 pics. Enjoy!
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