Makhunik, an Ancient Village with Dwarf-Like Inhabitants

Makhunik, an Ancient Village with Dwarf-Like Inhabitants

Makhunik is a remote village located in the Doreh Rural District, within the Central District of Sarbisheh County, South Khorasan Province, Iran.

Positioned 35 kilometers from the Afghan border, residents assert Afghan descent and speak Dari Persian, the primary language of Afghanistan.

The village boasts a diverse Muslim population, encompassing both Sunni and Shiite denominations.

Renowned for its unique population characterized by diminutive individuals, Makhunik’s average height is notably lower than the global average.

Moreover, it is considered one of the seven most stunning villages worldwide.

According to the 2006 census, Makhunik housed 582 individuals in 125 families.

The village itself occupies a relatively compact area, featuring mud-brick homes and labyrinthine streets nestled into the hillsides.

Abundant in artifacts, petroglyphs, and archaeological sites, the region reveals its ancient past.

Read also: Merv, the Ancient City with Remnants from the Islamic Golden Age

The People of Makhunik

What sets Makhunik apart is its population of diminutive individuals, who have garnered widespread attention for their small stature.

Villagers are notably shorter, with many adults around 4 feet tall.

This physical characteristic has led to the village being colloquially referred to as the “land of dwarfs.”

Moreover, men typically wear loose-fitting trousers and shirts, while women adorn themselves in modest dresses and headscarves.

Malnourishment Led to a Generation Appearing Dwarf-Like

The discovery of ancient dwarf people in Makhunik marked a pivotal moment in the annals of anthropology and archaeology.

Further investigations shed light on the factors contributing to their diminutive size, with malnutrition emerging as a primary culprit.

The harsh environmental conditions of the region, coupled with limited access to resources and isolation, have led to a chronic state of malnourishment among the villagers.

The government swiftly launched initiatives addressing the community’s nutritional needs.

These efforts included providing access to fortified foods and implementing agricultural programs to improve crop yields.

Additionally, healthcare facilities were established to monitor and address health concerns.

Through proactive measures and concerted intervention, the government endeavored to improve the quality of life for the inhabitants of Makhunik.

Recent years have witnessed significant transformations in Makhunik with the introduction of paved roads and electricity, altering the residents’ way of life.

Improved infrastructure has enabled men to seek employment in cities like Birjand and Tehran, augmenting their livelihoods.

Enhanced living standards and dietary changes have resulted in taller stature among Makhunik children, reflecting improved nutrition and overall well-being.

Unique Houses Made from Mud-Brick

The village is dotted with intricately constructed mud-brick homes, many of which are built into the hillsides.

These structures, known as “kiche,” are designed to provide insulation against the scorching heat of summer and the biting cold of winter.

The length and width of these houses range from 5 to 10 feet or 10 by 16 feet, with a ceiling height of around 5 feet.

In such a small house, a family can consist of eight people.

Moreover, they have narrow alleyways and labyrinthine streets; each corner holds a story of generations past, preserving the essence of a bygone era amidst the winds of change.

Mysteries and Legends in Makhunik

Beyond its physical attributes, Makhunik is steeped in legends and mysteries that have captivated the imagination of scholars and explorers.

One such mystery revolves around the village’s unusually short inhabitants. There are speculated about supernatural or extraterrestrial influences.

Another intriguing aspect of Makhunik is the presence of ancient artifacts and petroglyphs scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.

These relics offer tantalizing clues about the village’s ancient origins and the civilizations that once thrived in this remote corner of the world.

Read also: Giant Crystal Cave, an Underground Cavern with Massive Crystals

The Brief History of Makhunik

The village is believed to have been inhabited for at least 1,500 years; consequently, this makes it one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in Iran.

Moreover, isolation amidst rugged terrain preserves its distinct way of life.

According to local legend, the people of Makhunik are descendants of the soldiers of Alexander the Great, who passed through the region during his conquests in the 4th century BC.