The Tower Of Silence

The Tower Of Silence

This fiction is based on a tradition by the Zoroastrians. The structure is a Dakhma, and it’s where the dead are taken to be eaten by wild birds and animals.

 The ancient Zoroastrian tradition tells of how human flesh, once dead and decomposing, is so unclean it will pollute everything it touches. Holding the elements of earth and water as inviolably sacred, their religion did not permit the dead to be interred in soil or disposed of in the sea. Fire above all was worshipped as god-given and pure, and burning the dead would be the greatest of desecrations.

In acts of elaborate ritual the dead would be carted out into the forbidding desert by the nasellars, ritual pallbearers of Zoroastrianism. Far from settlements, they were taken up winding slopes up stark and ragged sandstone hills, to the Towers of Silence.

A Tower of Silence, known as dakhma in the sacred avestan tongue, is a large, cylindrical structure with a plateau of slabs laid in concentric circles surrounding a center pit. Its sole purpose was to leave dead bodies exposed to the searing desert conditions, though most importantly, to ever-circling, ever-present voracious birds of prey.


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Pirate is a man without reason, sanity or mercy. He once saw a crab at a beach.

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  1. Phenyx

    Buddhists do this too. It’s called a sky burial, but the body is usually disassembled first. When there’s only bones left, they are collected and crushed up with tsampa and fed to the crows and hawks.

  2. Hairyman

    They have a serious problem in one of their towers in India. The diclofenac that is used to keep arthritic cows and bulls working poisons the vultures – to the point where the vultures are being wiped out. There are not enough of the vultures left to eat the dead and the Zoroastrians are having problems with the build-up of corpses.

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