THE ANCIENT PERSIA (IRAN)

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PAARSE
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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:58 am

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle (in Persian: قلعه فلاک الافلاک‎), in ancient times was known as Dežbār as well as Shāpūr-Khwāst, is one of the most impressive castles in Iran. It is situated on the top of a large hill with the same name within the city of Khorramabad, the regional capital of Lorestan province. This gigantic structure was built during the Sassanid era (226–651).

The Khoramabad River runs past the eastern and south-western side of the Falak-ol-Aflak hill providing the fortress with an element of natural protection. Today, the western and northern sides of the hill are bordered by the residential districts of Khorramabad.


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History
Falak ol-Aflak castle is amongst the most important structures built during the Sassanid era. It has been known by a number of names since it was built over 1800 years ago. Recorded names have referred to it as Shapur-Khast or Sabr-Khast fortress, Dezbaz, Khoramabad castle, and ultimately the Falak ol-Aflak Castle.

During the Pahlavi Dynasty it was used as a prison

Architectural Layout
The foundations of the actual castle measure approximately 300 meters by 400 meters. The height of the entire structure, including the hill, reaches to 40 meters above the surrounding area.

The castle itself covers an area of 5,300 square meters. It is 2,860 meters in perimeter and its tallest wall is 22.5 meters high. This space is divided into four large halls, and their associated rooms and coridors. The rooms all surround two courtyards with the following measurements: the first courtyard measures 31x22.50m and the second 29x21 meters. When originally built the castle used to have 12 towers, but only 8 remain standing today.

The building's entrace is situated towards the north, within the body of the northwestern tower.

The water well of the fortress lies in the area behind the first courtyard. Reaching a depth of 40 meters, the majority of the well's shaft is carved into the rock in order to reach the source of the Golestan spring. The well remains usable to this day.

The materials used in the construction of the fortress are mud-bricks, mud-fired bricks, stone, wood, and mortar.




Surrounding structures
Archeological studies have identified the existence of a two layered rampart with twelve towers around the present day construction. This surrounding rampart mainly stretched westward. From the twelve original towers, only two remain and these are situated northwest and southwest of the existing fortress.



Dehumidifier
Falak ol-Aflak Castle appears to have been built with a dehumidifier system which is one of the wonders of the ancient world.[citation needed]


Previously, the experts believed these dehumidifier canals with a height of more than 1 meter covering all the area beneath the castle were hide-outs for the residents. But in reality, due to being aware of the changing climate in the region and the underground waters, the Sassanid engineers have equipped the castle with a dehumidifier.


Falak ol-Aflak castle is made with different materials like stone and wood that are so vulnerable to humidity. That’s why the castle was built on the highest point of the city of Khoram-abad, so that the wind could penetrate the building and dry its foundations.

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Postby Efantastic » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:06 am

WOW WOW WOW....wonderful

thank you>>>> I hope to visit Iran >>>

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Postby PAARSE » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:59 am

Susa


Susa (Biblical Shushan; also Greek: Σέλεύχεια, transliterated as Seleukeia or Seleukheia; Latin Seleucia ad Eulaeum; modern Shush, coordinates: 32.18922° N 48.25778° E) was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran, located about 150 miles east of the Tigris River in Khuzestan province of Iran. As well as being an archaeological site, Susa is also a lively village due to the devotion of Shi'a Muslims and the Persian Jewish community for the prophet Daniel.

Susa is one of the oldest-known settlements of the region, probably founded about 4000 BCE; though the first traces of an inhabited village date back to 7000 BCE. Evidence of a painted- pottery civilization dates back to 5000 BCE. In historic times, Susa was the capital of the Elamite Empire. Its name originates from their language; it was written variously (Šušan, Šušun etc.) and was apparently pronounced Šušən. Šušan was invaded by both Babylonian Empires as well as the Assyrian Empire in violent campaigns. After the Babylonian conquest, the name was misunderstood to be connected with the Semitic word Šušan, "lily."

Susa is mentioned in the Ketuvim of the Hebrew Bible, mainly in Esther but also once each in Nehemiah and Daniel. Both Daniel and Nehemiah lived in Susa during the Babylonian captivity of Judah of the 6th century BCE. Esther became queen there, and saved the Jews from genocide. A tomb presumed to be that of Daniel is located in the area, known as Shush-Daniel. The tomb is marked by an unusual white, stone cone, which is neither regular nor symmetric.



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A tablet unearthed in 1854 by Henry Austin Layard in Nineveh reveals Ashurbanipal as an "avenger", seeking retribution for the humiliations the Elamites had inflicted on the Mesopotamians over the centuries:

"Susa, the great holy city, abode of their Gods, seat of their mysteries, I conquered. I entered its palaces, I opened their treasuries where silver and gold, goods and wealth were amassed...I destroyed the ziggurat of Susa. I smashed its shining copper horns. I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur. I devastated the provinces of Elam and on their lands I sowed salt."[2]


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The city was taken by the Achaemenid Persians under Cyrus the Great in 538 BCE. Under Cyrus' son Cambyses II, the capital of the empire moved from Pasargadae to Susa.


centuriesThe city lost some of its importance when Alexander of Macedon conquered it in 331 BCE and destroyed the first Persian Empire, but after Alexander's vast empire collapsed upon his death, Susa became one of the two capitals (along with Ctesiphon) of Parthia. Susa fell to the Seleucid Empire during which it was renamed Seleukeia. Susa became a frequent place of refuge for Parthian and later, the Persian Sassanid kings, as the Romans sacked Ctesiphon five different times between 116 and 297 CE. Typically, the Parthian rulers wintered in Susa, and spent the summer in Ctesiphon.

The Roman emperor Trajan captured Susa in 116 CE, but soon was forced to withdraw, due to revolts in his rear areas. This advance marked the greatest eastern penetration by the Romans.

Susa was destroyed at least twice in its history. In 647 BCE, the Assyrian king Assurbanipal leveled the city during the course of a war in which the people of Susa apparently participated on the other side. The second destruction of Susa took place in 638 CE, when the Muslim armies first conquered Persia. Finally, in [1218] CE, the city was completely destroyed


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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:39 am

Taq-e Kasra


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Ctesiphon
The Sasanian Capital City


The large round city , situated on the left bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia, has been identified as the great Parthian and Sasanian capital city of Tisfun, known to the Romans as Ctesiphon , the Al-Madain (“the cities”), of Arabic sources. Situated about 35 km south of the later city of Baghdad, in present-day Iraq, Ctesipon was the first Sasanian foundation in this urban zone, named Veh-Ardashir, “the beautiful (good) city of Ardashir,” after its founder, the Sasanian king Ardashir I (AD 224-241). Ctesipon was the royal residence, imperial and administrative center, and a commercial and agricultural hub of the empire in the densely populated Sasanian province of Babylonia/Asoristan. Although Ctesiphon served only as a winter residence for Sasanian kings who spent summers in the cooler highlands of the Persian plateau, it remained the capital and coronation city of the Sasanian empire from its foundation by Ardashir I until its conquest by Arab armies in AD 637.

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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:45 am

The Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian empire (AD 224-642) was the creation of the last great Iranian monarchy before the Arab conquest of Western Asia in the seventh century. The Sasanians are best remembered for their distinctive cultural expressions and for the longevity of their more than four centuries of rule. The Sasanian age was a dynamic time of cultural and economic revival when a new Persian ruling house in southwestern Iran, like the Achaemenid Persians of a thousand years before, extended its dominion over much of Western and Central Asia, in territories that stretched from Transcaucasia to the Indus. The Sasanian age was also a time of intensified trade and exchange, when Iran served as a major gateway to the transcontinental Silk Road that linked the West with China and the Far East.

The Sasanians came into power when Ardashir I, a provincial ruler of Persis, in the Iranian heartland of present-day Fars province, defeated his Parthian overlord, to become the ruler of a new dynasty in Western Asia named after an ancestral figure. By the mid third century, ambitious Sasanian kings extended Persian power across almost 2,000 miles, from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, and from Syria's Mediterranean shore to Afghanistan.

A principal achievement of the Sasanian dynasty is its replacement of feudal leadership with centralized authority, topped by the king. Sasanian Iran, which remained a highly centralized state for over 400 years, forged a fusion of the offices of church and state, of religious authority and secular rule. As head of state, the dynasty's founder Ardashir (224-241), a descendant of the Zoroastrian priesthood of Fars, also assumed guardianship of the sacred fire, the symbol of the national religion. This symbol is explicit on Sasanian coins where the reigning monarch, with his crown and regalia of office, appears on the obverse, backed by the sacred fire, the symbol of the national religion, on the coin's reverse.

The search for meaning in Sasanian art requires consideration of that art's function, of the ways art is used in Sasanian society. It is the values of the Sasanian elite that inspire Sasanian decorative arts such as engraved gem or sealstone. This widespread and ubiquitous cultural relic was a portable, functional and often highly valued article, produced for special purposes such as the fulfillment of contracts and for commercial exchange. Archaeological evidence of the use of the Sasanian seal is preserved in ancient clay impressions found on documents. Intended as contracts or for the purposes of trade and exchange, documents were tagged with wet lumps of clay impressed with seals as vouchers. The seal was originally attached to strings that once wrapped the letter or perhaps the covered goods. The clay seal impression was to be broken and discarded only at the time of the use of the sealed article.

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fortminor
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Postby fortminor » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:56 pm

Thanks PAARSE for sharing these nice information. :)

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babara
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Postby babara » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:59 am

fortminor wrote:Thanks PAARSE for sharing these nice information. :)


Yes,nice information.

Your new avatar is so beautiful,Fortminor!! :P

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fortminor
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Postby fortminor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:50 am

babara wrote:Yes,nice information.
Your new avatar is so beautiful,Fortminor!! :P


Thanks babara,beauty is in the eyes of beholder! :wink:

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Dexter
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Postby Dexter » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:08 am

fortminor wrote:Thanks PAARSE for sharing these nice information. :)

yeah... thanks PAARSE :)

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PAARSE
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Postby PAARSE » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:54 pm

You're welcome , my dear friends...

I'll try to add more.

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Postby PAARSE » Tue Feb 06, 2007 5:02 pm

Norooz

In harmony with the rebirth of nature, the Iranian New Year Celebration, or NOROOZ, always begins on the first day of spring. Nowruz ceremonies are symbolic representations of two ancient concepts - the End and the Rebirth; or Good and Evil. A few weeks before the New Year, Iranians clean and rearrange their homes. They make new clothes, bake pastries and germinate seeds as sign of renewal. The ceremonial cloth is set up in each household. Troubadours, referred to as Haji Firuz, disguise themselves with makeup and wear brightly colored outfits of satin. These Haji Firuz, singing and dancing, parade as a carnival through the streets with tambourines, kettle drums, and trumpets to spread good cheer and the news of the coming new year.
The origins of NoRuz are unknown, but they go back several thousand years predating the Achaemenian Dynasty. The ancient Iranians had a festival called "Farvardgan" which lasted ten days, and took place at the end of the solar year. It appears that this was a festival of sorrow and mourning, signifying the end of life while the festival of NoRuz, at the beginning of spring signified rebirth, and was a time of great joy and celebration.


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The other ancient symbolic representation of NoRuz is based around the idea of the triumph of good over evil. According to the Shah-nameh (The Book of Kings), the national Iranian epic by Ferdowsi, NoRuz came into being during the reign of the mythical King Jamshid; when he defeated the evil demons (divs) seizing their treasures, becoming master of everything but the heavens and bringing prosperity to his people. To reach the heavens, Jamshid ordered a throne to be built with the jewels he had captured. He then sat on the throne and commanded the demons to lift him up into the sky. When the sun's rays hit the throne, the sky was illuminated with a multitude of colours. The people were amazed at the King's power and they showered him with even more jewels and treasures. This day of great celebration was named NoRuz, and was recognised as the first day of the year.

Happy Spring

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PAARSE
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Postby PAARSE » Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:13 pm

Comment :

Ruler means Governor, over here

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Postby PAARSE » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:00 pm

Chahar Shanbeh Soori

One of the symbolic rituals of the Noe-Rooz celebrations occurs on the eve of the last Wednesday of the year (Chahar Shanbeh Soori, literally meaning "the eve of Red Wednesday" or "the eve of celebration"). On this magical night, families gather piles of brush or wood and bonfires are lit in public places. They then leap over the flames shouting:

"Sorkhi-e to az man, zardi-e man az to!"

"Give me your vibrant red hue, and take back my sickly yellow pallor!"


The essence of this tradition is giving thanks for the previous year's health and happiness, while exchanging any remaining paleness and evil with the warmth and vibrancy of the fire.

According to tradition, the living are visited by the spirit of their ancestors on the last days of the year, and many children wrap themselves in shrouds, symbolically re-enacting the visits. They also run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons and knocking on doors to ask for treats. The ritual is called qashogh-zany (spoon beating) and symbolizes the beating out of the last unlucky Wednesday of the year. This could be seen as the Iranian version of the Western Halloween night.

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Postby PAARSE » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:05 pm

Haji Firooz

The traditional herald of the Noe-Rooz season is called Haji Firooz. He symbolizes the rebirth of the Sumerian god of sacrifice, Domuzi, who was killed at the end of each year and reborn at the beginning of the New Year. Wearing black make up and a red costume, Haji Firooz sings and dances through the streets with tambourines and trumpets spreading good cheer and the news of the coming New Year.

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Postby PAARSE » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:11 pm

Haft Seen

The Zoroastrians of ancient Persia celebrated the creation of life by offering their god, Ahura Mazda, seven trays filled with symbolic objects representing truth, justice, good thoughts, good deeds, virtue, prosperity, generosity and immortality.

Today, the tradition is continued through the setting of the table or spread with an arrangement of several items of which seven of them start with the Persian letter Seen (in English S). The Persian translation for the number seven is "Haft", hence, "Haft Seen" means "Seven S's". It is customary for the family to gather round the Haft Seen spread a few hours before the New Year.
At the exact moment of the New Year, the oldest person in the family continues the traditions by hugging and wishing each member well and offering sweets, pastries, and coins.


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The contemporary Haft Seen spread includes seven of the following items:

Sabzeh - wheat or lentils grown in a tray or dish prior to Noe-Rooz to represent rebirth,
Samanu - a sweet pudding made from wheat germ, symbolizing affluence,
Senjed - the dried fruit of the lotus tree which represents love,
Seer - which means garlic in Persian, and represents medicine,
Seeb - which means apple in Persian, and represents beauty and health,
Somaq - sumac berries, which represent the colour of the sun rise,
Serkeh - which means vinegar in Persian, and represents age and patience,
Sonbol - the hyacinth flower with its strong fragrance heralding the coming of spring, and
Sekkeh - coins representing prosperity and wealth.


The other items in the spread include:

Shirini - Sugar cookies and pastries,
Candles - representing enlightenment and happiness,
Mirror - representing the reflections of creation on the first day of spring,
Painted eggs - representing fertility,
A bowl with goldfish - representing life and the end of the Zodiac sign of Pisces,
An orange in a bowl of water - representing the earth floating in space,
Rosewater - thought to have magical cleansing powers and

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PAARSE
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Postby PAARSE » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:16 pm

Seezdah Bedar

The thirteenth day celebrations, Seezdah Bedar, stem from the belief of the ancient Persians that the twelve constellations in the Zodiac controlled the months of the year, and each ruled the earth for a thousand years. At the end of which, the sky and the earth collapsed in chaos. Hence, Noe-Rooz lasts twelve days and the thirteenth day represents the time of chaos when families put order aside and avoid the bad luck associated with the number thirteen by going outdoors and having picnics and parties.

At the end of the celebrations on this day, the sabzeh grown for the Haft Seen spread (which has symbolically collected all the sickness and bad luck) is thrown away into running water to exorcise the demons (divs) and evil eyes from the house hold. It is also customary for young single women to tie the leaves of the sabzeh, prior to discarding it, symbolizing their wish to be married before the next year's Seezdah Bedar. When tying the leaves, they whisper...

"Sal-e deegar, khune-yeh showhar, bacheh beh baghal!"

"By next year married, with my child in my arms!"


The festival of Noe-Rooz represents a major part of the Iranian peoples' rich culture and is one of the cornerstones of their civilization. It has remained intact for several thousand years bringing joy and hope to every Iranian, no matter where they reside.
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Behrooz
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thank u

Postby Behrooz » Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:28 pm

hi,thank u!!!
u have written everything of iran.
i think people from all over the world should know about our beautiful country.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

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Dexter
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Postby Dexter » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:03 am

yeah, PAARSE has written almost everything about Iran & also the New Year customs.

Happy New Year to you & other members, too !!!:D

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PAARSE
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Postby PAARSE » Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:21 pm

Thanks, dear friends

I hope we protect our ancient traditions and monuments


Anyway,
Happy New Year
and
Have a year white as Milk,
soft as Silk,
sweet as Honey,
and full of Money

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babara
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Postby babara » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:03 am

Yes, Thanks for your good information always,PAARSE!!

Happy New Year to all Iranian Too!!! :P :P

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BritneyF
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Postby BritneyF » Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:34 pm

HaPpY NeW YeAr!!!every fellow country men!
I'm so happy to join u here :D
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Last edited by BritneyF on Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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