Sunday, December 1, 2013

Prehistoric Chalo & Greater Khorasan (2500-1500 BC)


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"Traces of an international culture with major similarities to the Oxus civilization, otherwise known as the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex, have been discovered during an archaeological excavation in the prehistoric site of Chalo near the town of Sankhast in North Khorasan Province, Iran…..The excavation has been carried out by a team of Iranian and Italian archaeologists, the Iranian director of the team, Ali-Akbar Vahdati, told the Persian service of CHN on Saturday….The terms Oxus civilization and Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) both designate a Bronze Age civilization of Central Asia. The civilization, which dates to ca. 2300–1700 BC, was developed in present day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amou Darya (Oxus River). Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bactra (modern Balkh), in what is now northern Afghanistan, and Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of which was Merv, in modern-day southeastern Turkmenistan…..The artifacts found in the graves bear designs of dragons, snakes, scorpions, and other animal motifs typical of the BMAC in Central Asia said the Iranian director of the team, Ali-Akbar Vahdati…. The artifacts bear designs of dragons, snakes, scorpions, and other animal motifs. Vahdati said people had inhabited the area before it was converted into a cemetery"….Tuesday, 19 November 2013

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"Greater Khorasan, also written as Khurasan (Persian: خراسان بزرگ or خراسان کهن‎), is a historical region lying in the northeast of Persia (Iran)…. "In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, the term "Khurassan" frequently had a much wider denotation, covering also parts of Central Asia and Afghanistan….Khorasan in its proper sense comprised principally the cities of Mashhad, Nishapur and Sabzevar (now in northeastern Iran), Balkh, Herat and Taloqan (now in Afghanistan), Merv, Nisa and Abiward (now in southern Turkmenistan), and Samarqand and Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan). Some believe that at certain times Khorasan covered a wider area, which included parts of Transoxiana, Soghdiana, Sistan, and extended to the boundaries of the Indian subcontinent. Sources from the 14th to the 16th century report that south of the Hindu Kush (Zamindawar, Baluchistan and Kabulistan) formed a frontier between Khorasan and Hindustan."….

"The name "Khorasan" is derived from Middle Persian khor (meaning "sun") and asan (or ayan literally meaning "to come" or "coming" or "about to come"), hence meaning "land where the sun rises"… Humbach, Helmut, and Djelani Davari, "Nāmé Xorāsān", Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz; Persian translation by Djelani Davari, published in Iranian Languages Studies Website

"Ferdowsi, the author of Shahnameh, the national epic of Greater Iran was also from Khorasan…..[Ferdowsi means 'from paradise', and is derived from the name Ferdous (cf. Avestan pairi-daeza, later para-diz then par-des or par-dos, arabized to fer-dos). Tusi means 'from Tus'. In the poet's case, the name Ferdowsi Tusi became a name and a title: The Tusi Poet from Paradise.] …

“Based on previous studies, the BMAC was only limited to the sites located in Central Asia: in present day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, and some regions in Tajikistan, but the first season of excavation showed that the Chalo site is also part of this great culture,” he added."….

The Kopet Dag, Kopet Dagh, or Koppeh Dagh, also known as the Turkmen-Khorasan Mountain Range....The foothills of the Kopet-Dag near Ashgabat are the site of the remains of the ancient Parthian city of Nisa (Nessa, Nusaý).....Nisa was later renamed Mithradatkirt ("fortress of Mithradates") by Mithridates I of Parthia (reigned c. 171 BC–138 BC).....Nisa was totally destroyed by an earthquake, which occurred during the first decade BC.......The fortress at Nisa was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007

" All the artifacts unearthed from the graves have the same characteristics identified for the BMAC in Central Asia”. The artifacts actually bear designs of dragons, snakes, scorpions, and other animal motifs…..Vahdati said people had inhabited the area before it was converted into a cemetery…..Storage spaces dating back to 3700 BC have been discovered at the site. Large pots which were used for storing grains and other agricultural products have been dug out in the spaces,” he added…..We have found seeds of grain, barley and grapes. The grapes were likely used for production of vinegar or a special drink,” he stated…..Vahdati said, “Chalo reveals details of the BMAC in Iran. Maybe it is better to call it the Greater Khorasan Culture, because parts of Merv, Samarkand, and Bukhara were under the influence of Greater Khorasan.”


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….December 2013


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