Located in the countryside near Meshkin Shahr in northwest Iran, Ardabil province, Shahr-e Yeri was once one of the earliest settlements in Iran. Some 290 ancient stone mast/menhir, more than 7000 years old with different heights from a half to 3 meters, carved in human form and usually without mouth. The carved faces are intriguing and unique. One can also visit the cave and go through the stone gates. However, it is the stone obelisks that make the biggest impression.
The archaeological site embraces three pre-historical temples, an Iron-Age fort and tens of stones on which strange-shaped mouthless faces have been carved. The style of the menhirs represent stylized human figures, provided with hands, face, hairstyles, a sword, but –as mentioned- without a mouth. It is believed that the lack of mouth was aimed to represent the rule of silence, to be adopted for respect of the holy site by those who visited it thousands of years ago.
During its heyday bodies of the dead were buried with special ceremonies and rituals in compliance with religious beliefs. However, the majority of the tombs were found empty of skeletons due to illegal excavations, according to the Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies.
The site was registered on the list of national heritage sites in 1931.