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Zoroastrian Towers of Silence

In the Zoroastrian ritual, once a body ceases to live, it can immediately be tainted by demons and made impure. To prevent this, Zoroastrians purified the dead body by exposing it to the elements and local poultry on top of flat-topped towers in the desert called Dakhmas.

Until 40 years ago, corpses could still be discovered on top of the Towers of Silence in Yazd, Iran, slowly crumbling or being picked apart by desert vultures.

Although the towers are no longer used in the ceremony, they can be visited along with a number of the ossuaries in the area.


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