Ancient Zoroastrians

Under Persia’s Achaemenid dynasty, before Darius, temples had appeared for the first time. Related to the Aryans who had invaded India, or a least having a language closely related to the Aryans, the Persians had gods similar to those found in the sacred Hindu Vedas. Among the Persians were a people called Medes, and a priesthood called the Magi had come to dominate the Medes religion. The major god of the Medes was Zurvan, a god of time and destiny. Another god of the Persians was Mazda, whom Darius adopted in an effort to unify his empire. And in western Persia the god Mithra and goddess Anahita were also worshiped. Continue reading Ancient Zoroastrians

From Abraham to David – Yahweh

The word Hebrew has been associated with the word Hiberu and Apiru, described in Wikipedia as ” the name given by various Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Mitanni, and Ugaritic sources (dated, roughly, from before 2000 BC to around 1200 BC) to a group of people living as nomadic invaders in areas of the Fertile Crescent from Northeastern Mesopotamia and Iran to the borders of Egypt in Canaan.” They are “variously described as nomadic or semi-nomadic, rebels, outlaws, raiders, mercenaries, and bowmen, servants, slaves, migrant laborers, etc.” Continue reading From Abraham to David – Yahweh

What and Where is Persepolis?

Persepolis is the name of an archaeological ruin, part of the Achaemenid Dynasty of the Persian Empire, established by King Darius about 515 BC. The site is one of the best known archaeological ruins in the world, and probably the most important Achaemenid capital. Persepolis is located about 50 kilometers northeast of Shiraz and is open to visitors. Continue reading What and Where is Persepolis?

Ancient Parthian Empire

Definition: Parthia was an early Persian empire, in between the Achaemenian and Sasanid Empires and centered in northeastern Iran between 247 BC and AD 228. At its height, Parthia ruled all of what is now Iran and everything else between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.

Rose, Charles B. 2005 The Parthians in Augustan Rome. American Journal of Archaeology 109(1):21-76.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology. Sources for the term include the references listed on the front page of the Dictionary, and the websites listed in the sidebar. Any mistakes are the responsibility of Kris Hirst.

Also Known As: Parthia
Examples:

Sites include Assak, Nisa, Ashur

Ctesiphon (Iraq)

Ctesiphon is the name of a very old city at the confluence of the Tigris and Diyala rivers near Baghdad in what is now Iraq. The earliest urban occupations at the site probably represent the Akkadian town of Opis, the capital city of the Babylonia by the 14th century BC. Opis was the site of a battle between the Babylonian King Nabonidus and the Persians (539 BC), and the site of the European revolt against Alexander the Great (324 BC).

The Persian Nowruz

By : Iraj Bashiri

Introduction

The oldest of Iranian traditions, Nowruz (also referred to as eyd-i sar-i sal and eyd-i sal-i now) recalls the cosmological and mythological times of Iran. Its founder is a deputy of Ahura Mazda on earth, a position that imparts to him and the celebration a spiritual dimension and a particular sense of secular authority. The celebration is organized according to the dynamics of love between the Creator and his creation, the material world. The annual return of the spirits of the departed to their homes is celebrated by their offspring according to primordial rites of which only a faint trace remains among the Persians and the Parsees of today. But that in no way diminishes the importance of the bond which is refreshed at every Nowruz. Continue reading The Persian Nowruz