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Towers of Silence, Iran (delbars / Adobe Stock)

Achaemenid Religion: Lighting the Spirit of Ancient Persia

The Achaemenid Persian Empire is historically important for the Western world because of the influence of the Persian civilization on both the ancient Greeks and the ancient Jews. Because of this...
Ruins of ancient Persepolis, Iran, with the columns of the Apadana Hall on the right. Source: pawopa3336 / Adobe Stock.

Apadana – The Everlasting Hall of the Achaemenids

Throughout countless centuries, across all kinds of different epochs, the great hypostyle hall of Apadana has been an impressive source of wonder and inspiration for all manner of folk. This once...
Representation of discovery of the skeleton at the Rakhigarhi archaeological site. Source: Elena / Adobe Stock.

DNA of 5,000-Year-Old Woman Links Modern Indians to Ancient Indus Valley Civilization

Ancient DNA from India’s Rakhigarhi archaeological site is telling volumes about the destiny of the mysterious Indus Valley Civilization. Around 3000 BC, Neolithic hunters in northern Scotland began...
Makhunik, Iran

Was Makhunik an Ancient Iranian Lilliput?

In August 2005, a tiny mummified body was found in the ancient Persian village of Makhunik in what is now Iran. The discovery caused an international sensation when researchers reported that the...
Saffron

Saffron: Treasured Ancient Spice May Soon Be Gone for Good

Considered the world’s most expensive spice , saffron has been highly valued by many ancient civilizations, but it may soon be wiped out. It has primarily been a spice for cooking, but also used in...
The Cube of Zoroaster at Naqsh-e Rustam - an ancient necropolis located in Fars Province, Iran, with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods.

The 2500-year-old Cube of Zoroaster To Stay Shaken But Not Stirred

Many archaeologically significant sites are under threat from the elements or because of environmental issues. For some time, one of the most important monuments in Iran was believed to be under...
Persian Women dancing. From a wall painting at "Hasht Behesht Palace" (Palace of 8 heavens), Isfahan, Iran.

My Mother’s Persian Stories: Rose and Marigold

The custom of telling bedtime stories is ancient. Over the ages, they have passed from one generation to another through oral tradition. Each generation has embellished them in new ways by adding or...
Faravahar, one of the best-known symbols of ancient Iran (Persia). Relief in Persepolis.

The Plurality of the Persian Empire: Part I – The Achaemenids to the Sassanians

The land of Persia (also known as Iran) has been the center of several important empires throughout history. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, this was the land from which the mighty Achaemenids...
Naqsh-e Rustam

Naqsh-e Rustam: Ancient Tombs of Powerful Persian Kings

Naqsh-e Rustam is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring ancient sites of the Achaemenid Empire, consisting of the colossal tombs of Persian kings dating back to the first millennium BC. It...
Great Wall of Gorgan

The Great Wall of Gorgan: Red Snake of Iran Saw Empires Rise and Civilizations Crumble

The Great Wall of Gorgan, also known as the ‘Red Snake’, is a defense system located in the northern Iranian province of Golestan. This defensive wall dates to the Sassanian period, and is believed...
Abaqa On Horse, Arghun Standing, Ghazan As A Child. Mongol rulers Arghun and Abaqa were Buddhists. From the 14th century Universal History by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani.

Adapting Buddhism: Ancient Disciples of Siddhartha Gautama in Afghanistan and Iran

Buddhism, in the first few centuries following the death of the Buddha, spread from India mainly to China, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. One place where its presence is less studied, in some ways...
Faravahar, symbol of Zoroaster, at a Fire Temple in Yazd.

Digitized Zoroastrian Love App! The Preserver or Destroyer of Ancient Ways?

Zarin Havewala is an emerging Indian internet entrepreneur who has unashamedly cashed in on a niche religious sector. While ‘Christian Mingle’ and ‘Jdate’ unite the lonely hearts of Christians and...
Arge Bam, Bam, Iran.

Castle in the Sand: Arg-e Bam as a Pillar of Middle-Eastern Longevity

Iran’s Arg-e Bam, Bam Citadel, once stood as a pillar of longevity in the Middle East. Created upon the beginnings of the Achaemenid Empire (6th-4th centuries BC), and building on the commercial...
One of Nushabad’s passageways.

The Ancient Subterranean City of Nushabad: Why Were People Living Underground?

When you wander the tunnels of the underground city of Nushabad you are tracing your way back from modern day Iran to ancient history. The walls echo with the memories of the Sassanian period and...
Aryan warriors.

The True Aryans: Who Were They Really and How Were Their Origins Corrupted?

Today, the word ‘Aryan’ is loaded with all sorts of negative connotation, largely due to Nazi ideology, Aryans have become associated with racial hierarchies that consider white, blonde, blue-eyed...
Hansanlu Lovers skeletons close up of torsos and skulls

The Eternal Kiss of the Hasanlu Lovers Throws Up Questions of Ancient Love: Romance, Bromance or Something More Familial?

Have you ever heard of the “The Hasanlu Lovers?” If not, don’t be too quickly seduced by the exotic and romantic sounding moniker this phenomenon has been awarded. Colorful and amorous images are...

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