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Nowruz 1393, The Year of Celebrating Iranian Festivities



Pasargad Heritage Foundation has named the Iranian New Year 1393 as the Year of Iranian Festivities.


Dance-318932_520630801282933_1256381498_nThis is the ninth year that Pasargad Heritage Foundation (PHF) is suggesting naming the Iranian New Year which begins with Nowruz, the most important festivity of the nation.

This name designation has always been according to international conventions that are related to the preservation of cultural and natural heritage of the nation. The goal is to increase the awareness about the endangered heritage that are being eliminated from the list of cultural heritage either by negligence or by intentional discrimination policies based on religious, cultural and political considerations.

Upon such premise, and due to the fact that the relevant Iranian governmental organizations ignore Nowruz on one hand, and the baseless enmity of religious zealots on the other, PHF is naming 1393 as The Year of  Celebrating Iranian Festivities.

Most of the Iranian festivities include dance, songs, elements of water and fire (symbolizing purity and life) and, thus, according to the criteria put forward by the UNESCO, they are amongst the Intangible Cultural heritage of the nation and candidates for being registered in the world heritage list. Nonetheless, and apart from the fact that dancing of couples is forbidden in Iran and therefore major parts of Iranian festivities are barred from being observed, none of Persian festivities have been sent to UNESCO for consideration. Nowruz is an exception due to the fact that a number of countries have participated in the efforts for its registration.

Popular Iranian festivities are all none-religious and have their roots in nature and all people, regardless of their sex, religion, race, language and opinions and everyone can freely take part in them. Such happy and glorious gatherings not only contribute to the expansion of peace, friendship and union of Iranian people, they can also help the realization and return of the country to the forum of developed societies with actions based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Having endeavored to introduce Iranian festivities for nine long years, Pasargad Heritage Foundation wishes a Merry Nowruz and a Happy New Year for all Iranians on the arrival of such a great and beautiful occasion. In addition, we invite everyone to participate in observing and celebrating all Iranian festivities by whatever means at their disposal and contribute to the preservation of this humanistic occasion for generations to come.


With love and Nowruz greetings

Shokooh Mirzadegi

On behalf of PHF

Connection Between Genghis Khan and Climate Change


In a recent study by researchers from Columbia University and West Virginia University and published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, the team concluded with a theory, that the weather might have helped the Mongol army conquer the largest contiguous empire in history.

Ghenkis KhanAbout eight hundred years ago, Genghis Khan and his sons ruled most of modern-day Russia, China, Korea, southeast Asia, Persia, India, the Middle East and eastern Europe after Mongols ruthlessly conquered all these territories.

Historians for a long time have believed that the Mongols’ fast horses and brilliant cavalry tactics were two of their major advantage, but what other factor could have helped their rapid rise and overcoming so many other territories and countries? Well, the answer could have been climate change or good weather to be exact according to the team of scientists. 

Researchers have been working in Mongolia since 1995 and they have been looking at many ecological factors including tree-rings. Annual rings of many species reflect rainfall or temperature in predictable ways. These can be read like books; and trees in the driest, harshest sites like this are exquisitely sensitive to rain, live to extraordinary ages, and leave trunks that may stand for centuries after they die. In addition, researchers have been looking at grass production, while reasoning that the mild weather could have brought an unusual boom in grass production, and therefore affecting favorably livestock numbers including camels, yaks, cattle, and sheep. So, it looks like that the Mongolian army and Mongol cavalryman had many warhorses and animals for food that could have enabled fighters to travel fast and long.  Researchers are also looking at lake-bottom sediments, soil and all the date will eventually go into a computer modeling program at University of Alabama. 

Researchers also propose that the Mongols could have suffered a climatic setback, too: a cold snap in 1260-1266 and subsequent return to more normal weather in Mongolia appears to coincide with the decline of Karakorum, whose heyday lasted only 30 years. The empire soon fragmented. Today, barely anything of Karakorum remains but a giant stone turtle that once marked one of its corners.

Excerpts from PastHorizonspr.com by permission.  http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/03/2014/rise-of-genghis-khan-linked-to-mongolian-climate-change

Italian Government Ask Businesses for Help


Earlier this year, here on WCHV website, we discussed in our blog about a new trend which could gradually become a new trend for funding restoration and preservation of heritage sites (Privatization of Restoration: http://worldculturalheritagevoices.org/?p=3486). This new trend which we called Privatization of Restoration could be a great solution where public funds are not available or are limited.  Just yesterday, Italy’s new Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, called on private companies to fund repairs to the ancient city of Pompeii. The ancient city of Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world’s greatest archaeological treasures. It has been estimated that every year, over two million tourists visit the site in Southern Italy.

Pompeii_Garden_of_the_Fugitives_Pompeii has been suffering from neglect and inadequate restoration for a while. In fact, BBC and other news networks have reported that last year, 105mil-euro ($145m) was raised (including 41.8m euros from EU) allocated for a “Great Pompeii” rehabilitation project. However, it has been reported that only 588,000 euros had been spent so far. 

Due to heavy rain falls and flooding, several areas including walls and buildings have been damaged just in the last several days, therefore, new measures should be undertaken to reduce damage from flooding.  

Mr. Renzi who became Italy’s prime minister last month made the plea yesterday, to private companies and businesses to step in and help with restoring one of Italy’s greatest treasures.  In fact, the Italian government in the past had also requested private assistance for restoration of other ancient monuments, including the Colosseum in Rome and the Trevi fountain. 

Protecting Persian Deer


One of the recent reports (sent to WCHV) from Iran indicates that Persian yellow deer held and bredeerd in a protected environment have been at risk due to intruders who recently killed an animal at one of these sites.

Different species of Persian deer have been declared endangered and as a result selected habitats and parks have been allocated to breed Persian deer in captivity but it seems that the animals are not even safe there.

These protected areas are fenced to keep wolves and other predators out and it seems that in this case, the preventive measures were not enough to keep the deer safe.

Environmental activists say that the incident actually happened at Tehran’s Pardisan Park and adjacent to the Department of Environment building. The deer was about 6 years old and X-rays showed that three bullets had hit the animal’s neck, causing his death. The environmental experts also point out that this type of killing is not for hunting purposes and these individuals are obviously just after killing the animals brutally.

Persian yellow deer is one of the 74 animals in Iran that have been on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

New Discoveries in Esvres-sur-Indre


potteryArchaeologists have continued work on a Late Iron Age/Early Roman period necropolis, with a total of 74 graves uncovered, including 31 new inhumations in Central France. As modernization has rapidly changed the area with housing expansions, the outskirts of the historic town of Esvres-sur-Indre  has also been the site for the new findings and study.

The necropolis itself has been known since 1909 after the publication of a preliminary study carried out at the time of the planting of a vineyard. In fact, in 1999 a group of 29 burials were excavated at Vaugrignon.  The graves found at the time were clustered in discreet areas corresponding perhaps to social or family groups and organized around enclosures whose function is not yet clear but may relate to funeral rites.  Archeologists believe that the extent, number and diversity of burials found in the area, show the importance of the site during the late Gallic and Gallo-Roman periods, and the tombs must relate to a substantial settlement that lies beneath the current town and suggests a continuous occupation for over 2200 years.

A very interesting finding was that most of the tombs excavated have contained children. However, since the acidity of the subsoil often does not allow good preservation of organic matter including skeletal material and many of graves were found to be ‘empty’. Twenty four did however contain enough skeletal material to be able to identify 18 children and 6 adults.
The graves frequently contain wooden coffins, of which only the nails are preserved. The dead are accompanied by a rich selection of objects, sometimes mounted on wooden supports arranged within the grave including terracotta pottery including jugs, cups, plates and pots.

Excerpts by permission from original article published by www.pasthorizonspr.com