A year ago (almost to the day) we were mentioning that the remains of some so-called ‘salt men’ from Iran had been saved from a sad decompositional fate in a museum and we also reminded folks of Adrienne Mayor’s plausible suggestion that such ‘salt men’ may have had some connection to tales of satyrs and the like. Now, the fine folks at Past Horizons alert us to a recent study on the actual origins of the men themselves, inter alia:
Recently isotopic analysis was carried out on five of the salt-preserved bodies which are now dated to between 4th century BCE through to the 4th century CE. In an attempt to identify the geographical origins of these people, researchers from the Department of Environmental Sciences, Università Ca’ Foscari in Italy, matched osteological samples from various sites in Iran and those from the salt mine bodies. It was possible for them to hypothesise that two of the “mummies” may have come from the Tehran/Qazvin Plain region (local to the salt mine), and a further two appear on isotopic grounds to have come from the northeast of Iran or the Turkmenistan steppes. The fifth appears to have come from further afield.
… the article continues and includes some nice links for your further investigatory pleasure: