United Nations and WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy

 

The WAALM – School of Cultural Diplomacy Became an Institutional Member of The Academic Council On The United Nations System – ACUNS. For more information consult the WAALM Diplomacy Journal.

The WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy for the promotion of international peace, dialogue, learning and inter-cultural communication was recently inaugurated in England. This features five distinct departments with over 20 programs.

For an overview to the organization kindly consult the introductory notes in English (pdf) or in Persian (pdf) as well as the website:  http://www.waalmdiplomacy.org/

 

 

New Course: Persia and World Civilization: A Silent Legacy

 

Kaveh Farrokh is teaching a new course at the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Education Division entitled:

Persia and World Civilization: A Silent Legacy

Course Desciption:

Trace the extent of Persian influence in China, India, Islam and Europe with specific examples such as the city palace of Persepolis and her legacy in Merovingian and Gothic arts; the dress of the Iranian nobility at the time of Darius the Great, and its later appearance among the Germanic Ostrogoths and Polish Szlachta; and Persian miniatures and their influence on Indian and Turkish arts.

UP502F09A 5 Wed, Oct 7-Nov 4, 7-8:30pm; UBC Robson Square. $80, seniors $70, CLS students $120

A Sassanian observatory recently discovered in Gur-City, Fars province, founded by  Ardeshir Babakan (r. 226-241 AD). The city was a major scientific center until the 10th century AD. The abode structure remains in excellent condition and is a masterpiece of Iranian science and engineering.

If you require information on registration and sign-up, please feel free to contact the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Studies Division at: (604) 822-1444.

The World’s oldest known Artificial Eye

 

According to a report by Maryam Tabeshian of the Cultural Heritage News Agency of Iran (December 10, 2006), researchers have excavated a 4,800-year-old artificial eye along with a skeleton and other findings from the Burnt City (located near the city of Zahedan in Iran’s Seistan-Baluchistan province in the southeast of iran).

Skeleton of a young woman from the Burnt City. Note artificial eye in the eye socket of the skull.

The site has yielded numerous interesting finds including an ancient measuring ruler, backgammon game pieces and an animation device.  Researchers have ascertained that the artifical eye belonged to a woman aged 25-30 who hailed from a higher echolon of the local society at the Burnt City. 

Interestingly, the woman’s gravesite also yielded vessels of clay, a leather bag, a mirror of bronze and various other ornaments. Professor Michael Harris, a specialist in the field of optometry at the University of California at Berkeley, has stated that:

It’s unlikely such attention and effort would have been paid to a commoner…She may have been a member of a royal family or an otherwise wealthy individual.”

Prosthetics were of course known in the ancient era with references made to an artificial eye of gold in Hebrew texts (Yer. Ned. 41c; comp. Yer. Sanh. 13c). The prosthetic found in Iran however is different in that it is evidence of the oldest attempt at making this as “realistic” as possible. Professor Mansur Sayyed-Sajadi, who supervised the excavation, has stated: 

At first glance, it seems natural tar mixed with animal fat has been used in making [the eye]…whoever made the eye likely used a fine golden wire, thinner than half a millimeter, to draw even the most delicate eye capillaries…”

A curious feature of the “eye” are parallel lines that have been drawn around the pupil to form a diamond shape.

Two holes at the sides of the “eye” helped hold it in iplace.  The eye socket of the woman however appears to have developed an abscess as a result fo constant contact with the prosthetic.

Further tests are being conducted in iran to determine the exact chemical composition of the prosthetic.

The Inauguration of the WAALM-School of Cultural Diplomacy

 

The WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy for the promotion of international peace, dialogue, learning and inter-cultural communication has been officially inaugurated in England. This features five distinct departments with over 20 programs.

For an overview to the organization kindly consult the introductory notes in English (pdf) or in Persian (pdf) as well as the website:  http://www.waalmdiplomacy.org/

The introductory video below is also of interest: 

Among the faculty of the WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy are:

Dr. Patrick Hunt of Stanford University who has won awards for his various activities as an  archaeologist, writer, composer, poet and art historian. He has been filmed in many documentaries including National Geographic Explorer TV, History Channel and PBS. Professor Hunt is the Director of the Alpine Archaeology Project (1994-2009), conducting high altitude research in the Alps between France, Italy and Switzerland. He is also a National Lecturer for the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) 2009-2010 and the author of eight books, including the best-seller TEN DISCOVERIES THAT REWROTE HISTORY (Penguin-Plume, 2007). Professor Hunt has been a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society since 1989.

Professor Dick Davis who is a Professor of Persian and Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University. His works in Medieval Persian literature have set the standard of academic excellence. He has also taught at the Universities of Durham and Newcastle in the UK as well as Universities of Tehran (Iran) and California (Santa Barbara). As author, translator or editor, he has produced over 20 books; among his academic works he has published translations from Italian (prose) and Persian (prose and verse) and books of his own poetry. Professor Davis has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1981.

Kaveh Farrokh is a member of the Hellenic-Iranian Studies program at Leiden University, the Iran Linguistics Society, the Persian Gulf Preservation Society, the Pasargard Preservation Foundation and other organizations. He has been interviewed on ancient Persian history and archaeology by the BBC, the History Channel and the Voice of America media network. Kaveh teaches ancient Persian history through the Continuing Studies Division of the University of British Columbia. He has received a number of citations for his second book, the most recent being the Merit and Scholarship Award of 2009 for his writings and books in Iranian Studies.

Ancient Ruler discovered in Iran

 

A little known report dated to January 31, 2005 cites the Iranian Cultural heritage News agency’s discovery of the world’s oldest known ruler. This was unearthed in 2005 at the Shahr e Sookhteh or Burnt City near Zabol in iran’s southeast province of Sistan-Baluchistan.

The Burnt City, dated to 5000 years ago, is perhaps one of the ancient world’s most advanced urban centers. The site indicates that advanced urban centers and accompanying technology in Western Asia did not necessarily originate in the Mesopotamian and/or Levant arenas. Western scholars have worked alongside their Iranian colleagues for a number of years to conduct excavations at the Burnt City and elsewhere on the Iranian plateau.

A display of the thousands year old Rulers (or pieces of the same ruler) discovered at Shahr e Sookhteh (Burnt City). The device made of ebony wood, has a precise system of measurement whose units correspond to 1.5 millimeters (Courtesy CHN & Payvand News).

Dr. Mansour Sajjadi, the head of the excavation team, told CHN reporters that:

During the recent excavations, we found a piece of ebony wood 10-centimeter long with some cuts which have evidently been made with a sharp tool. After carrying out the necessary tests and studying the wood under microscope, we found out that the cuts were divided in one millimeter and half millimeter measures…”

This precise system of measurement indicates that the inhabitants of the Burnt City were highly advanced in the sciences, mathematics and civil construction works. The discovery of the ancient ruler is suggests that the inhabitants of the Burnt City probably had developed other precise measurement tools. The Burnt city has already yielded interesting finds such as an artifical eye, backgammon pieces, and an example of animation.