Imaginary portrait of Prophet Zoroaster (Zartosht), the
ancient  monotheist prophet of Iran, on the left and
the symbol of Zoroastrian religion.

Two views of remains of fortress Alamut near Tehran.  It was the main base of the Assassin
movement founded by Hasan Sabbah in 1090 CE.  The fortress was captured and destroyed by
Mongol conqueror Hulagu Khan in 1257 putting an end to the Assassin movement.
(Photo by MB)

(Photo by MB)
This is a photo of fortress of Falk al-Aflaak in Khorramabad (Lorestan province of Iran). It is said that its original foundation goes back to the Sasanian period (225-651 CE) but I doubt it and at any rate there is no way to tell. What can be said is that it was a military fort during the Qajar period (1795-1925) and Pahlavi period (1926-1979) and that it also doubled as a military detention center. It became notorious after the 1953 coup as many political detainees were sent there, including members of my own family. So, the visit had a personal meaning for me as well as a historical one. Today, it is a museum of anthropology dedicated to the culture of Lorestan and has a very nice teahouse. As I was looking around I asked one of the caretakers where prisoners were held and he told me where I was standing was one such place and showed me where they were chained to the wall.

(Photo by MB 2005)
Ganjnameh: inscriptions and their translations belonging to Dariush I (Darius) and his son Khashayar I (Xerexes) both of Acheamenid Dynasty (560-330 BCE); I took them this summer near Hamadan; they were written in three languages of the time and point to historically conscious Iranian kings but note that there is no mention of Iran.



Remains of once grand temple of Anahita in Kangavar
(Kermanshah-Iran) (Photo by MB 2005)