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Next to Khaled Nabi shrine in Golestan province of Iran exists an ancient pre-Islamic graveyard filled with over 600 phallic tombstones. The shapes of these graves have pagan/shamanistic roots from old Turkic culture. Such sexual, fetishistic imagery has caused this graveyard to be largely ignored by official Iranian agencies. Tour guides, archaeology, and research about this graveyard is limited.

The tombstones have three main shapes:

1) Long, erect cylindrical tombs representing a penis. Indicates a male is buried there. Usually 2-5 metres in height.

2) Round, curvy tombs representing large breasts, which indicates a female is buried. Usually 1-3 metres in height.

3) Tombstones with crosses and (some with) more extended circles represent a rams head. Ram horns are a symbol of power, the sun, rule and strength in Turkmen culture, and continue to be used today in graves, textiles, homes, etc.

The 2 million Turkmens that inhabit Turkmensahra, northeastern Iran, are predominantly Sunni. Prior to their conversion to Islam, they had a pagan religion known as Tengriism. Many pagan traditions and beliefs are embedded in Turkic and Turkmen culture, and such pre-Islamic beliefs continue to this day.

80 notes
tags: iran. turkmen. turkic. pagan. pre-islamic. sexuality. fetishism. iranian. islam. torkaman. torkman. turkmensahra. turkmen sahra.

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