Zoroastrianism was the state religion of the ancient Persian Empire. Its founder, Zoroaster, or Zarathustra, is thought to have been born in what is now Northeast Iran or Southwest Afghanistan. A 2004 survey by the Zoroastrian Associations of North America put the estimated number of believers worldwide at between 124,000 and 190,000.
Now, archaeologists in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have discovered major Zoroastrian tombs, dated to over 2,500 years ago. This unravelling is leading to startling controversial speculation about the religion’s origin. Read more.
A 2,000-year-old cemetery with several underground tombs has been discovered near the Nile River in Sudan.
Archaeologists excavated several of the underground tombs, finding artifacts such as a silver ring, engraved with an image of a god, and a faience box, decorated with large eyes, which a researcher believes protected against the evil eye.
Villagers discovered the cemetery accidently in 2002 while digging a ditch near the modern-day village of Dangeil, and archaeological excavations have been ongoing since then. The finds were reported recently in a new book. Read more.
The ‘meat-eater’ tombs of the ancient city of Assos acquired fame throughout the world as bodies inside the tombs used to decompose within a short period of time
Forget about lions, tigers or other big predators, the real carnivores in Assos in Çanakkale are the ancient city’s tombs, whose stones are famous for causing bodies to decompose in record time.
“The tombs here are first cut roughly, and their interior is carved. We know that the decorations on the tombs were made in the graveyard. Some long-time researchers have been trying to find out if the bodies decomposed in the tombs because of the stone used. Some researchers claim that the tombs include lots of aluminum material, and that that causes decomposition. Maybe the locals of Assos found that aluminum burned the skin and put this material inside the tombs for the body to decompose within a short time. Read more.
A team of Polish archaeologists discovered tombs from the early second millennium BC and unknown pharaonic carvings in Gebelein in Upper Egypt. It was a part of rescue studies associated with the devastation caused by the widening range of fields and settlements.
Gebelein is a complex of archaeological sites approximately 30 km south-west of Luxor. More than 5 thousand years ago it was a capital of one of the proto-states, which preceded the state of the pharaohs. The first European archaeologists came here at the end of the nineteenth century, but over the last few decades scientists seldom studied this area and did not publish the results of their research. Therefore, it is not well recognized. The name “Gebelein” means “two hills” in Arabic. Read more.
NANJING — Archaeologists have discovered more than 100 Eastern Han Dynasty (24-220 AD) tombs in east China’s Jiangsu Province.
The graves in Pizhou City are mostly two meters long and a meter wide, They lie under a large pool and were found when the pool was drained, Ma Yongqiang, a researcher with the Institute of Archaeology of Nanjing Museum told Xinhua on Saturday.
Such a large cluster of Han tombs are a rare discovery and valuable for studies on funeral customs of the time. The tombs were buried only 20 to 30 centimeters beneath the earth and about two dozens have been plundered. Read more.
East Aswan inhabitants have accidentally stumbled upon what is believed to be a set of rock-hewn tombs on Elephantine Island, which displays a wide range of monuments from the prehistoric period to the Greco-Roman era.
Minister of Antiquities Mohamed Ibrahim told Ahram Online on Monday that early studies on the tombs’ wall paintings reveal that they are dated to the New Kingdom era, which makes a very important discovery that may change the history of Elephantine Island.
Ali El-Asfar, head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities section, explains that the first tomb belongs to a top official in Elephantine named User who was a prince of Elephantine during the New Kingdom. Read more.
Archaeologists working on a Wari complex in Peru’s central Andean region of Ayacucho said they may have found 1,000-year-old mausoleums, daily Peru.21 reported.
Archaeologist Martha Cabrera said specialists have uncovered two underground galleries at the complex, which is located in the district of Quinua in the Huamanga province.
The first gallery is 15 meters long, 1.4 meters wide and about 1.75 meters tall, Cabrera said. The other gallery is about 8.5 meters long.
The archaeologist said that they found remains that suggest the complexes were collective burial sites for elite members of the Wari civilization. Read more.
Archaeologists have unearthed about 300 pieces of cultural relics from a cluster of ancient tombs in north China’s Hebei Province.
The tombs, located in Beidazhao Qiandong village of Nanhe County, 150 km south of the provincial capital of Shijiazhuang, are believed to be from the middle and late West Han Dynasty (206 BC- 24 AD) and middle Tang Dynasty (618-907), archaeologist Li Lianshen was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency.
Archaeologists have discovered 73 tombs altogether since the excavation started in May and more than 4,000 square meters of land have been combed through, Li said. Read more.