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Ancient Zoroastrian Temple Found in Turkmenistan

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Afghanan View Drop Down
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    Posted: 31-Jul-2005 at 22:39

Archeologist says Central Asia was cradle of ancient Persian religion

The mysterious Margianan civilisation which flowered in the desert of what is now Turkmenistan 4 000 years ago was the cradle of the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrism, Greco-Russian archeologist Victor Sarigiannidis claimed here on Friday.

He said the theory would provoke controversy amongst his fellow archeologists, but said his excavations around the site of Gonur Tepe have uncovered temples and evidence of sacrifices that would consistent with a Zoroastrian cult.

The religion was founded by Zarathustra, a Persian prophet who was one of the world's first monotheists, and is still practised today in Iran and India. Archeologists in the eastern Turkmenistan region have discovered the foundations of a huge palace, seven temples and a vast mausoleum.

Sarigiannidis believes the civilisation emerged with the arrival in the region of people seeking an escape from drought in Mesopotamia (now Syria). "95 % of the ruins of the mausoleum look similar to those of Mesopatamia," Sarigiannidis, a member of the Russian Science Academy said.
He also pointed out the similarity in the palace gate with the Minoan Palace of Knossos on the Greek Island Crete.

The latest finds from excavations in 2004 are on exhibit in the Turkmen capital and suggest a highly refined civilisation. They feature superb mosaics depicting griffins, wolves and lions, as well a marble statue of a ram and finely highlighted vases in gold and silver.

Sarigiannidis has called on the Greek government to continue to fund his excavations at the site and said the 17,000 per year grant he had been accorded until 2007 by the former socialist government had been cut by the current minister of culture.

[Source: IOL Discovery, 19 March 2005] [Geplaatst op 20-03-05] [Cat.: Middle East] [#]
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  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Aug-2005 at 05:09

Sarigiannidis believes the civilisation emerged with the arrival in the region of people seeking an escape from drought in Mesopotamia (now Syria). "95 % of the ruins of the mausoleum look similar to those of Mesopatamia," Sarigiannidis, a member of the Russian Science Academy said.

That is an interesting theory, which particular Mesopotamian ruins is he referring to? Ancient Scythian ruins (sedentary Middle Eastern Scythians)?

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Afghanan View Drop Down
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  Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Aug-2005 at 00:10

This is the same Greek archaeologist who discovered the "Bactrian Gold" in Afghanistan.  I'm not sure, the article isn't really clear on the details.  I would like to know more about this Mesopatamian exile.

All in all, its an exciting find.  It always makes me wonder what the world looked like back in those times.  There were no Turks or Turkmenistan, no Persia, just nomadic peoples, ancient Kingdoms and towns that nobody today could ever even possibly dream of.

Im gonna be following this story as it unfolds.

The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak
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