Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lake Hamun: The Saoshyants @ Qal'a-e Sham

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“Anahita was said to have conceived the Mithras from the seed of Zarathustra preserved in the waters of Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan.……. And when the world's end is at hand , three maidens will enter the lake, and afterwards will give birth to the Saoshyants who will then be the "final saviors" of mankind….”

“The fire temple is on a terrace behind high walls and is protected by two forts…. the ruins are called Qal'a-e Sam …. “Castle of Sam" ……The religion of Sham (Sam) was considered "pagan" by the early Christians and Muslims…….it was the cult of Sol Invictus (the Unconquered Sun), the worship of the divine spirit by whom the whole universe is ruled, the spirit whose symbol is the Sun.....also the Solar Cosmology of Mithra.”

Mount_Ushidar/Kuh_Khajeh_Rostam_Castle

"...the Saoshyant, the "future benefactor" who brings about the final renovation of the world."……"One passage of the Kālachakra (Śri Kālachakra I. 161) reads, "The Chakravartin shall come out at the end of the age, from the city the gods fashioned on Mount Kailasa. He shall smite the barbarians in battle with his own four-division army, on the entire surface of the earth."……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalachakra#Prophesies_on_Holy_War

“In the first millennium A.D., Lake Hamun was a major stop on the southern branch of the Khorasan highway, the southern Iranian part of the Silk Road, providing shelter and protection to the passing caravans. Possibly it was the hub of local trade as well…..At first, Chinese raw silk was transported on this route. Later, from the second century A.D. onward, Indian goods such as precious stones, perfumes, opium, spices, and even eunuch slaves flowed in the direction of the West. In the opposite direction, Persian Gulf pearls, wheat, barley, turmeric, asafetide, and herbal medicines were carried by the caravans….aside from trade, Sistan, known as the birthplace of Rostam, has very strong associations with Zoroastarianism. In fact, according to Zoroastrian mythology, Lake Hamun was the keeper of Zoroaster's seed. And when the world's end is at hand , three maidens will enter the lake, and afterwards will give birth to the Saoshyants who will then be the "final saviors" of mankind…..According to the imminent Iranist Mary Boyce Lake Hamun was also a center of pilgrimage. The only other known location for pilgrimage in Zoroastrian times was Ray which is close to Tehran.”…. http://iranian.com/Feb97/History/Hamun/Hamun.shtml

Kuh-e Khawja complex

“Mount Khwaja or Mount Khwajeh (locally: Kuh-e Khvājeh) …… a flat-topped black basalt mountain located 30 kilometers southwest of the town of Zabol, is a seasonal island in the middle of Hamoon lake, in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan. ..… The oldest and by far the most important structure of the site is an ancient fortress on its eastern slope, with various sections such as Ghagha Shahr, the Rostam Castle, the Kaferoon Castle, Sam Fortress and the Kohan Fortress. The remains of a fire temple attest to the importance of the island in pre-Islamic Iran. The fire temple is on a terrace behind high walls and is protected by two forts known as Chehel Dokhtaran and Kook Kahzad…..It is the only natural height left behind in the Sistan area, where a citadel with palace, fire temple, pilgrimage center and cemetery known to locals as the "Suren's resting place" reminiscent of the past are still in good condition. Also there are number of small temples, in particular a temple known to the locals as the "Koochak Chel Ganjeh", believed to have belonged to the cult of Mithra, which was the religion of Parthians. Some believe this section of the edifices were constructed during the Achaemenid dynastic Period.

Mount_Ushidar/kuh-e_Khwjeh

“There is reference to Mithra as being born of "Anahita, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithras". Anahita was said to have conceived the Mithras from the seed of Zarathustra preserved in the waters of Lake Hamun in the Persian province of Sistan. …. Lake Hamun was the keeper of Zoroaster's seed. And when the world's end is at hand , three maidens will enter the lake, and afterwards will give birth to the Saoshyants who will then be the "final saviors" of mankind. ….. This information comes from a Temple that bears this inscription dedicated to Anahita and dated to about 200 B.C.E.. “….http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090112015057AAyuvfr

“…site in Lake Hamun, called Kuh-e Khwaja…… The site of Kuh-e Khwaja is located 30 kilometers southwest of Zabol in the eastern part of Sistan-Baluchestan Province, very near the Afghan border……The main ruins of the complex are situated on the southeastern promontory of a high hill overlooking the marshes of Lake Hamun in the delta where the ancient Hirmand River's journey comes to an end. This solitary high hill, or small mountain, juts out of the lake and for most of the year is an island…..The single path of access to the upper slopes of this hill is through the neglected ruins of this ancient town which was built on the only eroded part of the vertical volcanic ring that isolates the upper reaches of the hill…….The complex consists of a remarkable array of buildings and fortifications. For example, the citadel known as Ghagha-Shahr houses one of the only surviving fire temples within a major monument of pre-Islamic times. This temple is located on a terrace beyond high walls. It is protected by two forts, whose remains are known as Kok-e Zal and Chehel Dokhtaran…..as a structural complex with an intriguing range of Zoroastrian associations, Kuh-e Khwaja represents a unique repository of still inadequately documented architectural information, especially with reference to the transition from Sasanian to Islamic architectural forms…….In addition, the site was decorated with large murals depicting various figurative motifs and mud reliefs of human and equestrian figures. Some fascinating surviving pieces are housed in various museums such as Iran-e Bastan Museum in Tehran, New Delhi Museum, Berlin Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.”…..http://iranian.com/Feb97/History/Hamun/Hamun.shtml

Mural from Lake Hamun's Kuh-e Khwaja complex, eastern Iran (circa 200-800 A.D.)

“….references to Kuh-e Khawja……the only direct reference is to be found in the anonymous Tarikh-e Sistan (History of Sistan) which dates back to the twelfth century AD.”

“ In 1910, G.P. Tate of the British Boundary Commission made detailed observations of the site. Then in 1915 Aural Stein was the first to conduct surface excavations. The results were published in his Innermost Asia in 1916 and subsequently, a later addition was published in 1928…..He was the first to identify that the fire sanctuary was the principal architectural unit of the Kuh-e Khawja complex. The fire temple had been covered extensively with wall paintings, which were discovered at the time of the excavations and were taken to the museum of New Delhi……Ernst Herzfeld (One of the persons who excavated Persepolis) inspected the site in 1925 and 1929. His findings were first published in 1932, and with a radically different conclusion in 1941……I should mention that Herzfeld had not published all of his documents in 1941. These records, which have been part of the Freer Gallery's collection, became the basis of a new report by Trudy Kawami which was published in 1987 (Metropolitan Museum Of Art Journal #22, 1987). Then in 1961, the site was examined for a third time by Giorgio Gullini, who published his results in 1964.”…..http://iranian.com/Feb97/History/Hamun/Hamun.shtml

“Lake Hāmūn (Persian: دریاچه هامون‎ Daryācheh-ye Hāmūn) or Hamoun Oasis is a term applied to wetlands in endorheic Sīstān Basin on the Irano-Afghan border… . The term Hāmūn Lake (or Lake Hāmūn) is equally applied to Hāmūn-e Helmand (entirely in Iran), as well to shallow lakes Hāmūn-e Sabari and Hāmūn-e Puzak, which extend into territory of present-day Afghanistan with latter being almost entirely inside Afghanistan. The Hamun is fed by numerous seasonal water tributaries; the main tributary is the perennial Helmand River, which originates in Afghanistan Hindu Kush mountains. …In Iran term Daryācheh-ye Sīstān (“Lake Sīstān”) is also used, with similar meanings, for lake Hāmūn-e Helmand…..

Archeological sites…..”The area has important archeological remains. The ruins of an ancient Achaemenid city Dahān-e Gholāmān (Dahāneh-ye Gholāmān) are located near the Hāmūn Lake 30.7653°N 61.6372°E……In 1975 the Hāmūn-e Helmand, together with Hāmūn-e Sabari, was designated a Ramsar site.

“Mount Khwaja or Mount Khwajeh (locally: Kuh-e Khvājeh) is a flat-topped black basalt hill rising up as an island in the middle of Lake Hamun, in the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan…..Mount Khwaja is also an important archaeological site: On the southern promontory of the eastern slope, the ruins of a citadel complex - known as the Ghagha-Shahr - with its remains of a fire temple attest to the importance of the island in pre-Islamic Iran. According to Zoroastrian legend, Lake Hamun is the keeper of Zoroaster's seed. In Zoroastrian eschatology, when the final renovation of the world is near, maidens will enter the lake and then give birth to the saoshyans, the saviours of humankind…..The fire temple is on a terrace behind high walls and is protected by two forts, whose remains are respectively known as Kok-e Zal and Chehel Dokhtaran. Collectively, the ruins are called Qal'a-e Kafaran "Fort of Infidels" or Qal'a-e Sam "Fort of Sam," the grandfather of the mythical Rostam. Both names reflect pre-Islamic heritage. The walls of the temple were once extravagantly decorated with murals, some of which are now on display in museums in Tehran, Berlin, New Delhi and New York…..The citadel complex was first investigated by Marc Aurel Stein in 1915-1916. The site was later excavated by Ernst Herzfeld, and was again investigated in part by Giorgio Gullini in a short expedition of 1960. Initially, Herzfeld tentatively dated the palace complex to the 1st century CE, that is, to the Arsacid period (248 BCE-224 CE). Herzfeld later revised his estimate to a later date and today the Sassanid period (224-651 CE) is usually considered to be more likely. Three bas-reliefs on the outer walls that depict riders and horses are attributed to this later period. Beyond the citadel at the top of the plateau are several other unrelated buildings, of uncertain function and probably dating to the Islamic period.”…

The Mysteries of Mithras: The Pagan Belief That Shaped the Christian World…..edited by Payam Nabarz

Ramazan-nia, Nersi (1997), The treasures of Lake Hamun: An Interview with Soroor Ghanimati, Burlingame: The Iranian

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