Iranian miners working at the Chehr Abad salt mines (located west of the city of Zanjan in Iran’s northwest) made a startling discovery in the winter of 1993. They discovered a human body with long reddish hair, beard and a lower left leg still inside a boot. The body had been buried inside a tunnel which was roughly 45 metres long. Another five bodies were to be discovered in the ensuing years, including those of a woman and teenager.
There were other artefacts found with the body, notably three iron knives, a pair of woollen trousers, a silver needle, sling, parts of a leather rope, a grindstone, and a walnut.
Isotopic analyses have been conducted on five of the salt-preserved “mummies” to help identify their origins and determine the times they had lived.