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Mummy discovered in Newly Explored Egyptian tomb

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Earlier this month (December 2017), it was reported that a team of Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a new mummy in a newly explored tomb near the city of Luxor.  The report which was published by a number of news outlets said that the mummy was found in one of two tombs which are being explored for the first time since the original discovery twenty years ago. The tombs, were originally found by German archaeologist Frederica Kampp in the 1990s in an area known as the Dra Abu el Naga Necropolis, near the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Valley of the Kings, where the treasures of Tutankhamun were found.

The archeologists believe that the tombs date back to the ancient Egyptian dynasties of the New Kingdom, which lasted from 1,550-1,070 BC.  The tombs were obviously known to the archeologists but they were not explored.  The mummy found was wrapped in linen which means that the person was a top official or a powerful person. The archeologists also found the name “Djehuty Mes“, engraved on one of the walls, therefore leading them to believe that it is the name of the mummy recently found.  Alternatively, it (the mummy and the tomb) could belong to “the scribe Maati, as his name and the name of his wife Mehi were inscribed on 50 funerary cones found in the tomb’s rectangular chamber”.

The archeologists believe that there is more to explore and to be found as only one of the two tombs have now been excavated. According to the team, the tomb has a court-yard lined with stone and mud-brick walls. It has a six-meter deep burial shaft at its southern side that leads to four side chambers.

The tourism industry in Egypt has been greatly and negatively impacted by the latest terrorist’s attacks and news and Egyptian authorities are exploring the tombs while Egypt is trying to promote and encourage tourism and visits to its ancient sites.

Happy New Year and Thank You!

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Dear Friends, and Supporters of World Cultural Heritage Voices,

On behalf of our colleagues and volunteers at WCHV, and on the occasion of the Global New Year of 2018, we would like to extend our regards and best wishes for a Happy New Year.  Thank you for your support of WCHV, which has been so instrumental in achieving our goals and mission.

The Ancient Roots of “Europe”

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The Ancient Roots of “Europe

By: Javad Mofrad, Mythologist

Translation by WCHV

The name Europe has been derived from the Greek word “Eury-ope” which meant having a long forehead, also referring to the “Phoenician Queen”.  However, the original country that stretched from the North Sea to the Black Sea was also called the “Taurs” country which was also the place where the first wagon was invented.  The ancient Indo-Iranian religious books of Avesta and Rigveda named that country, the Indo-Iranians original “chilly” (cold) country, by the name of Arya-varta.  The names Khvaniratha (both meaning the land of magnificent wagon) and Aerina vaeja (the original land of wheels) were also used at different times. According to the Rigveda, it was said that they had hundred winters and hundred autumn in Aryavarta, and according to the Avesta´s, (Aerina vaeja) referring to the fact that winters lasted for a long time and at times for over nine months.

According to the Pahlavi books the Aryans wandered from Khvaniratha to other lands under Paradhats time (the first legislators ‘ time). Herodotus tells us about the Paradhats home at the Skythes (Skythes that had lived in the Northern part of the Black Sea) by the name of Paralats.  One of Paradhats was Takhmo-oropa (Europa’s hero), also called Takhmo-ratha (Chariot Country’s Hero). This displays that the name Oropa ([Eu]-rope) has been synonymous with (fine wheel and wagon).

According to Arthur Christensen, Avesta Takhmoropa is Skythian´s Arpoksais (wagon king). Herodotus tells us that the two people he had been referring to were Traspies (horse keepers, Russians) and Katyars (sword people, Magyars/Hungarian). The Greek mythical figures half horse and half human Centaurs (bulls-ruler), could have been derived from Russians (grooms, rus) and Taurs. From there, the goddess Europe myth roaring on a bull across the sea and her name have connection to Taurs and their goddess Iphigenia (the strong goddess), that is related to Avesta´s Ardvisvar-Anahita (the Virgin of the strong-flowing water). Phoenicians (or the “beautiful people”) were referred to as the Slavic people or the Veneds (the fine peoples) in Europe that Herodotus mentions under the name Aukhats (the fine families) as Lipoksais people. Lipoksais means “Fair the people’s king”. In the Avesta he was called Hao-shayangehe (the Fine Country´s King). As the Greeks had more contacts with the Phoenicians of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, they mistook them with Veneds.

2500 years old paintings discovered on Indonesian island

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According to the study published in the Cambridge Journal of Archaeology, Scientists have discovered ancient cave paintings, dating from at least 2,500 years ago, on a tiny Indonesian island that was previously unexplored. The team uncovered a total of 28 rock art sites on the island of Kisar which measures just 81 square kilometres and lies north of Timor-Leste.

The paintings help tell the story of the region’s history of trade and culture, researchers said.

“Archaeologically, no one has ever explored this small island before,” said Sue O’Connor, from the Australian National University. “These Indonesian islands were the heart of the spice trade going back for thousands of years. The paintings we found depict boats, dogs, horses and people often holding what look like shields,” said Prof.O’Connor.

The discovery pointed to a stronger shared history with the neighbouring island of Timor than had previously been known. “The Kisar paintings include images which are remarkably similar to those in the east end of Timor-Leste. These paintings perhaps herald the introduction of a new symbolic system established about two thousand years ago, following the exchange of prestige goods and the beginning of hierarchical societies” he added.

UNESCO lists “Chogan” as Iran’s intangible cultural heritage

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UNESCO has recognized the team sport of polo (known as ‘chogan’ in Persian), played on horseback, as Iran’s intangible cultural heritage during a session held in South Korea on December 7.

After three years of extensive efforts, international negotiations, and close cooperation between Iran’s sports ministry and Cultural Heritage Organization, the team sport of polo has been added as Iran’s intangible cultural heritage to UNESCO list during the 12th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, taking place from December 4 to December 8 in the South Korean capital of Seoul.

Yalda, Persian’s Most Beautiful Song in Praise of Light and Love – 2017

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For thousands of years, Iranians have celebrated the last night of winter.  They have stayed up through the evening, waiting for the dawn, to witness the birth of the Sun; the source of life which has also been named “Mehr”.

Praising the sun, on the night of the birth of Mithra, celebrating around a cedar tree, adorned with colorful fabrics and stones, which was one of the most important rituals of the ancient Persians. At the time, there were still mysteries of the sun and moon and other natural phenomena for human exploration, and the Persians, like many other people had self-made gods who ruled over all the elements of nature. Man therefore, escaping sadness, darkness, cold, and pain (whether physical or emotional) took refuge in the gods.

Discovering the secrets of nature, and the transition from the myths of the gods did not hurt people’s relationship with the natural elements. Because Persian culture, and even religious orders of Zoroaster (the Persian prophet), were based on love and respect for the land, water, trees, rivers, mountains and their preservation was considered good will.

However, most of our habits and traditions could be updated and modified with time as well as people’s desire and wishes. Therefore, praising the sun, light, love, and life has become a part of Iranian psyche and beliefs in spite of all the objections that historically, under the pretext of religion, has considered these Persian celebrations as blasphemy.

Unfortunately, in the past thirty-four years of clerical rule in Iran, they have not accepted these celebrations. They not only do not accept these traditional festivities as part of national celebration, they are not willing to report and request UNESCO for addition to World Heritage list. The government has simply tried to force innocent people to stop holding these celebrations.

As Persian/Iranian celebrations and festivities have risen from nature and the land, with kindness and love, engraved with anti-discrimination, and interest of/for all people, irrespective of their religion, belief and opinion.

“Yalda” is one such festivity which continues to be even now more than ever, at the center of interest of Iranian people because history has shown that during dark times people have shown interest with the hope and belief that victory can be sealed and reach the world community to end all wars, suffering, discrimination and denial.

This year like many previous years, Pasargad Heritage Foundation, has asked the Iranian public to celebrate the tradition of Yalda by decorating and adorning an evergreen cedar tree and celebrate this glorious Persian feast more and more beautifully and grandly and  welcome the everlasting sun of our land in order to conqueror all perpetual darkness.

Let us not forget that the festive night of Winter Solstice, “Yalda,” is one of the few festivals compatible with the tenants of human rights, with this message that “only expressions of joy and love are symbols of light in human life”.

Exhibition of over 100 artworks of Timurid Empire in Afghanistan

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The American Institute of Afghanistan studies put on a show over 100 pictures of artworks in Herat on Saturday that date back to Timurid Empire in Herat.

The pictures of the artworks were collected by Michael Berry, an American researcher, during the past 40 years from the museums located on three continents. They were kept in important countries’ museums including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Egypt, France, Portugal and a few others.

Berry recognized the artworks in the museums, photographed them and brought the high-resolution pictures of the artworks to Afghanistan and was on show in Herat on Saturday.

“These are pictures of the artworks that are part of Afghanistan honors and have been in museums of the world’s important countries. I tried to bring pictures of these artworks to Herat and that Afghan people should remember their honored past,” said Berry.

Justices wary of terror victims’ pleas to seize Iran objects

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According to Fox News, The Supreme Court is indicating it could prevent survivors of a 1997 terrorist attack from seizing Persian artifacts at Chicago museums to help pay a $71.5 million default judgment against Iran.

The justices heard arguments Monday in an appeal from U.S. victims of a Jerusalem suicide bombing. They want to go after artifacts at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History and the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute.

Several justices sounded skeptical that the survivors could invoke a provision of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in their quest. That federal law generally protects foreign countries’ property in the U.S. but makes exceptions when countries provide support to extremist groups.

The victims say Iran provided training and support to Hamas, which carried out the attack. Iran refuses to pay the court judgment.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

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Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt of the United States, chair of the drafting committee, holding a Universal Declaration of Human Rights poster in English. UN Photo (1949)

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. […] Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70

Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December – the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Human Rights Day kicks off a year-long campaign to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document that proclaimed the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being — regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

Drafted by representatives of diverse legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration sets out universal values and a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. Thanks to the Declaration, and States’ commitments to its principles, the dignity of millions has been uplifted and the foundation for a more just world has been laid. While its promise is yet to be fully realized, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.  

#StandUp4HumanRights

  • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all.
  • Human rights are relevant to all of us, every day.
  • Our shared humanity is rooted in these universal values.
  • Equality, justice and freedom prevent violence and sustain peace.
  • Whenever and wherever humanity’s values are abandoned, we all are at greater risk.
  • We need to stand up for our rights and those of others.

Human Rights Day

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December 10 is Human Rights Day, a United Nations (UN) campaign that calls for people to know and push for their rights no matter where they are in the world.

 Protecting Our Rights

Human rights are our basic rights or freedoms. They include our right to live, our right to health, education, freedom of speech and thoughts, and equal rights. Some groups organize protests on Human Rights Day to alert people of circumstances in parts of the world where human rights are not recognized or respected, or where these rights are not considered to be important.

Cultural events and photo exhibitions are also held to inform people, especially today’s youth, of their rights and why it’s important to hold on to them.

About Human Rights Day

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was drafted between January 1947 and December 1948. It aimed to form a basis for human rights all over the world and represented a significant change of direction from events during World War II and the continuing colonialism that was rife in the world at the time. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is considered as the most translated document in modern history. It is available in more than 360 languages and new translations are still being added.

The UN General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France, on the December 10, 1948. All states and interested organizations were invited to mark December 10 as Human Rights Day at a UN meeting on December 4, 1950. It was first observed on December 10 that year and has been observed each year on the same date. Each year Human Rights Day has a theme. Some of these themes have focused on people knowing their human rights or the importance of human rights education.