The main protagonist of Gore Vidal’s novel Creation was Cyrus Spitama, the grandson of Zoroaster. Though the novel was set in the 6th century BCE, current scholarly consensus places Zoroaster’s time at 1400 –1000 BCE making him the founder of one of the earliest religions based on revealed scripture. Other dates place him in the time of the Axial age, the time of Vidal’s novel. Zoroaster lived in Bactria in present day Afghanistan and his religion was adopted by the Persian emperor Darius, whose empire at that time included modern day Iraq as well.
Now a Zoroastrian temple has been discovered in Kurdistan, Iraq.
Duhok’s Director of Antiquities, Hasan Ahmed Qassim, has announced the discovery of a Zoroastrian temple near Jar Ston Cave, a famous ancient site. The temple is believed to be the most complete to have been unearthed in the region. It is also said that it was a Metherani temple.”
The temple was dedicated to the deity Anna Hita, indicated by the discovery of Anna Hita’s holy star, and evidence of fires, as well as fireplaces and Zoroastrian holy sand stores have been found nearby,” Qassim revealed. He further described the temple as being made up of five sanctuaries, three of which were carved into rock, with the remaining two having been constructed from stone blocks.This discovery is being hailed as the most significant archaeological development in the region in recent times.
.”This new discovery will alter the history of the region due to its unique architectural style, which differs considerably from Zoroastrian temples previously discovered,” explained the Director of Antiquities.
“The temple’s style which looks toward the four-directions is a unique style ever discovered in the area; thus it becomes an entry to studying Zarathustrian arts and archeology.”At present archaeology teams are continuing work at the site to find out more about the temple’s history.[Kurdistan: Zoroastrian Temple discovered in Duhok]