Nowruz in Georgia and the Georgian Legacy in Iran


The Nowruz Iranian New Year is now an official holiday in Georgia:

Nowruz declared as a national holiday in Georgia (Reprt by the Georgian News Agency on March 21, 2010)

Nowruz has powerful roots in the Caucasus due to the heavy historical influence of Irna in the region since pre-Islamci times. As noted by Professor Mark Whittow of Oxford Unviersity:

The oldest outside influence in Trans-Caucasia is that of Persia (p.203)many of its populations, including Armenians and Georgians, as well as Persians and Kurds, the Transcaucasus had much closer ties with the former Sassanian world to its south and east than with the world to the west (p.204)”.  [Whittow, Mark, The Making of Byzantium: 600-1025, University of California Press, pp. 203-204].


Talysh girls from the Republic of Azarbaijan (ancient Arran or Albania) engaged in the Nowruz celebrations of March 21. The Talysh speak an Iranian language akin to those that were spoken throughout Iranian azarbaijan unitl the Turkic arrivals of the 11th century AD.

There are now indications that a large proportion of the inhabitants of modern Iran have a number of shared genetic characteristics with modern Georgians: Kindly consult a recent study by Professors Nasidze and his colleagues,

Nasidze, I., Quinque, D., Rahmani, M., Alemohamad, S.Y., Stoneking, M. (2006). Concomitant Replacement of Language and mtDNA in South Caspian Populations. Current Biology, 16, 668–673 (pdf)

A very interesting paper published recently by Babak Rezvani disusses the history of the Fereydani Georgians of the seventeenth century in the general vicinity of Isfahan, the Iranian capital during the Safavid era

Babak Rezvani: The Fereydani Georgian Representation of Identity and Narration of History (pdf). Downloaded from the British Columbia University System Library resources.  

The musical influences of Iran continue to resonate in the Caucasus. The Georgian instrumental folk song at the link below begins with melodies with connections to the Balkans and the Zamfir notes of Romania; this then transforms into a distinct Perso-Georgian rhythm. The song then concludes with that Perso-Georgian melody played in a fast-paced Caucasian (Kafkaz) beat: (kindly click here to enjoy this Georgian folk song with an embedded Persian melody)

For more information on the connections between Iran and the Caucasus, kindly consult the link below:

Iran and Caucasia 

Georgian luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili is seen on this undated photograph provided by Georgia's Olympic Committee in Tbilisi. A black cloud descended over the Vancouver Olympics on Friday after 21-year-old Kumaritashvili was killed in a horrific training crash at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

Nodar Kumaritashvili (1988-2010). the late Georgiam Luge competitor who tragically died during practice runs fin Whistler, British Columbia during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. His name “Nodar” is the Georgianized equivalent of the Iranian “Nader”.  

The Exhibition “Rites of Power” BY Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani


Originally posted in the Persian Mirror Magazine. The article has been written by Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani – kindly visit his new website at:

Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani received the World Prize for Book of the Year in iranian Studies for his book (involving 10 years of research)  Arms & Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period.


 The Exhibition “Rituais de Poder: Rites of Power” in Portugal opened on March 13, 2010 in Èvora, Portugal and has been a huge success.


This wonderful exhibition was provided by Dr. Jorge Caravana to the Museum of Evora in Portugal and showcases a wonderful selection of different oriental historical weapons.


A high qualiry exhibition catalogue accompanies the exhibition and is available for sale. The exhibition catalogue is in full color and has two parts: the first part presents a number of articles on the subject and the second part showcases a wonderful array of different oriental weaponry.

The exhibition catalogue is in both languages: English and Portugues. The English text is always provided on the left side and the Portuguese version is next to it on the right. The list of articles and the number of artifacts presented in the catalogue: Some of the articles are:

Silva, Francisco Santos (2010), Symbols in Weapons and Weapons as Symbols: The Socio-Religious Significance of Decoration in Indian Weaponry in the Collection of Dr. Jorge Caravana, pp. 23-31. 

Vassalo e Silva, Nuno (2010), Goldsmiths in Indian Weaponry, pp. 32-40.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010), Persian Swordmakers, pp. 41-55. 

Elgood, Robert (2010), An Introduction to Arms and Armour from the Islamic World and India, pp. 56-69.

Caravana, Jorge (2010), The Kris, p. 171. 

The Collections under the display are from the following countries:

Morocco (3 items)

Turkey (9 items)

Persia/Iran (9 items)

India (55 items)

Sri Lanka (4 items)

Nepal (1 item)

China (2 items)

Japan (5 items)

Indonesia/Malaysia (20 items)

Philippines (1 item)


Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani writes for PersianMirror from Germany. He is the author of the book Arms and Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period” that won the prestigious World Book Prize of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iranian Studies on February 07, 2009. Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani wrote his doctorate thesis in English linguistics on the analysis of conflicts and controversies under Professor Dr. Andreas H. Jucker at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany, while doing research and writing books and print articles in English, German, Spanish, and Persian in the field of historical arms and armor from Iran. For his publication list and his research activisties see:


Kangavar’s Anahita temple Damaged by Construction


See also original report by: The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies

A massive “construction” project at the Anahita Temple in Kangavar in Kermanshah Province in western Iran was finally halted in the last week of January. The damage however has been done.

Thanks to Mehr News Agency of Iran who raised the alarm about the destruction being wrought against the site, the “construction” crews have been forced to stop; hopefully, to never return. 

Who has been responsible for this latest assault on the pre-Islamic sites of ancient Iran? Before exploring this, it is necessary to briefly outline the backgound of the ancient Anahita Temple.

The Ancient Temple of Anahita

The general consensus is that the Anahita Temple was built during the early Parthian era around 200 BC, just over a century after the fall of the Achaemenid Empire. The site has seen continuous rebuiklding over the centuries, but it is generally believed that the Temple of Anahita was built during the Parthian era (248 BC – 224 AD). Nevertheless, definative judgements on the site await more excavations and studies.

The platform covers 4,600 square meters built over a mound 32 meters in height. It is generally believed that this ancient temple was established for the Zoroastrian-Iranic goddess ‘Aredvi Sura Anahita’ (Arədvī Sūrā Anāhitā). Anahita is the Iranic goddess of wisdom, purity, fertility, healing and Aban (the waters). 

Given its construction in the early Parthian era, Kangavar also shows some Hellenistic characteristics, notably the edifice. The remaining architectural traits, however, can be traced to a the rise of a unique architectural tradition that was underway during this time in ancient Iran.

The Iranian propensity for size and grandeur is seen in the very large dimensions of consturction seen in the foundations at the Anahita Temple. What is especially Achaemenid in chatacter are two lateral stairways ascending the platform- this echoes what is seen in the Apadana Palace of ancient Persepolis of the Achaemenid kings.

“Construction” or Damage? 

The Kangavar site was seriously damaged during an earthquake in 1957. Afterwards, some locals invaded the perimeter of the site, using stones from the temple to rebuild their homes at that location. In early 2010, however, serious damage was inflicted on the site as a result of “construction” activity. 

From what is know through Mehr News in Iran, the responsible parties are the provincial department of the Islamic Republic Endowments and Charity Affairs based in Kangavar. These began to build concrete foundations in December 2009. The objective is to lay the basis for Imamzadeh Ebrahim located on the environs of the Anahita Temple.

Incredibly, the building of a hotel at the Anahita location is another part of the “construction”. This is in fact what happended at the ancient thousands-year old site of Susa in August 2008.

Asadollah Beiranvand, of the Kermanshah Cultural Heritage and Director of the Tourism and Handicrafts Department (KCHTHD) told the Mehr News Agency of Iran that:

The construction project near the Anahita Temple was illegal so it was barred by a court order…the office had begun the project without receiving approval from the KCHTHD.”

In a repeat of the scenario of the disastrous “repairs” that were made on the Tomb of Cyrus at Pasargardae, Mehr News was again challenged, this time by Mohammad Qorbani (Director of KECAO).  

Qorbani has categorically rejected Beiranvand’s warnings. He also claimed that the construction project had been approved, based on an agreement that took place between the KCHTHD and KECAO. Specifically, avers  Qorbani, the development plan had actually been given the green light by the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization as ealry as 1994. Qorbani then notes that for “unknown reasons” the plan had been delayed until ealry 2010.

According to the current version of events, the “construction” plan had been approved by the Governor General’s Office at Kermanshah in 2009. Qorbani then notes that the finalized version of that approval was signed during a meeting between KCHTHD KECAO and the Kermanshah governor general on December 19, 2009.

“Construction” or Damage?  What do the Photos Say?

The foundations for the Imamzade near the Anahita Temple. It is mystery why the builders would come so close to this ancient site. This would be analogous to having modern construction crews build new buildings near ancient Stonehedge in England.



Woman passes by steel frames dumped at the ancient Temple of Anahita.


Graffiti? This action is analogous to vandalism – it is certain that nobody would dare do the same to the columns of the ancient Acropolis in Athens, Greece.


Graffiti once again seen sprayed (or written) on ancient blocks at the Anahita site. It is not clear if this action is an act of deliberate vandalism, or is simply a leisurely action by the “construction” crews.

Koorosh Ahmadi: Vandalism of Cyrus Cylinder article in Wikipedia by Eurocentirsts


Iranian cukltural activist and writer Koorosh Ahmadi notes that:

“Cyrus the Great”, may soon need to reassemble his army of Immortals! However, this time, instead of 10‟000 highly trained warriors, he may only require a few IT experts; as these days, his articles in Wikipedia are controlled by a group of cyber-vadalistsa team of Wikipedia users to maliciously change the articles of Iranian History, especially the records of “Cyrus the Great” and the “Cyrus Cylinder” in Wikipedia.



The Cyrus Cylinder in the British Museum

See also this link regarding Eurocentrists activities against the history and legacy of Iran

See also link on Cyrus the Great