Many of you have expressed an interest to visit Tajikistan, the ancient homelands of the Zarathushtis. Here is an opportunity to do so. The tour is highly recommended by people who took it in 2013.
HAFTKUL TRAVEL AGENCY ANNOUNCES TWO ARCHEOLOGICAL TOURS OF TAJIKISTAN
- AN ARCHEOLOGICAL TOUR BY JEEP AND PARTICIPATION IN EXCAVATIONS OF TWO ANCIENT SITES WITH ZOROASTRIAN FEATURES – AUGUST 4 – 21, 2014 COST 2300 EUROS (EXCLUDING AIRFARE)
- A TOUR OF THE ANCIENT SITES AND CITIES IN TAJIKISTAN – SEPTEMBER 4-15, 2014 COST 1695 EUROS (SINGLE) 1595 (DOUBLE) EXCLUDING AIRFARE
BOTH TOURS WILL BE LED BY RUSSIAN ARCHEOLOGIST DR. PAVEL LURJE, “PASHA,” HEAD OF THE PANJAKENT EXPEDITION OF THE STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, ST. PETERSBURG. PASHA WILL GIVE SEVERAL TALKS ON HISTORY, LANGUAGES AND CULTURE OF ANCIENT TAJIKISTAN
Sogdiana and Bactria, ancient regions named in the Avesta, are partially located in Tajikistan and will be toured. Russian archaeologists have unearthed many sites associated with Zoroastrianism. The most famous of them are the “Oxus temple” at Takht-i Sangin in Bactria and the ancient settlement of Panjakent in Sogdiana. The famous Oxus Treasure (now in the British Museum) was found near Takhti Sangin, and Temple I in Panjakent displays a Zoroastrian connection and affiliation, including a fire sanctuary. Both tours will include these sites.
Tajik customs (especially among the people living in the mountains) retain elements going back to the Zoroastrian past. They have great reverence for fire and water, use bull’s urine for medical purposes, as well as the use for healing purposes of ephedra which they call ‘hum’ – that is, haoma.
The Tajik language is an Iranian language, very close to Persian. Tajiks integrated into Classical Persian literary tradition so even a farmer can recite from memory verses of Khayyam, Hafez, Rudaki, Bidel and Firdausi. A group of villagers, called the Yagnobis, living in the Zerafshan valley, still speak the Sogdian language. A tour of a Yagnobi village is planned.
The tours will also include visits to Museums in Dushanbe, Khojand and other places where many articles of Zoroastrian heritage are on display. The National Museum has special sections on Zoroastrian culture from the Achaemenian and Sasanian periods.
For further information on both tours, visit: http://www.haftkul.tj/
and write to:
Mr. Shodmon Sanginov, Haftkul Travel Co. firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Pavel Lurje, Pasha email@example.com