The Helmand Sistan Project
Tales of the Field

Tragedy in the Bathhouse

The monumental citadel of Shahr-i Gholghola was forever producing surprises. The 11th century bathhouse was carefully excavated in 1973.  But at the far western end, atop a large pile of ash from the last fires that heated the caldarium in the 15th century was a sobering surprise. A stack of eight bodiless skulls, each punctured through the skull, sat atop the pile. The bodies were found later that season eroding out of one of the walls of the palace. The historical event surrounding this tragic event is as yet undetermined but it helped support the local name of our site, “The City of Screams.”

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