Historic Findings: Zoroastrianism in Anatolia

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The archaeological site Oluz Höyük is located in the Amasya province of Turkey, one of a number of provinces bordering the Black Sea provinces. The site is near a village close to the border of the Çorum province. It would be rather ordinary and dull, except for the fact that a Zoroastrian fire temple has been discovered there along with thousands of artifacts. The find is quite large and a rarity; there are no other Persian sites in the area. But that’s not even the best part. The find dates to the 5th century BCE and according to Professor Şevket Dönmez, Istanbul University Archaeology, this makes it the oldest Zoroastrian site, older than any temple in Persia. Since the religion was supposed to have started in Perisa, this creates a historical issue as well as an essential question that needs to be asked. What role did this region of Anatolia play in the history of Zoroastrianism? As Professor Dönmez puts it, “Anatolia has entered the sacred geography of today’s Zoroastrian.”



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