Elias Zandi

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"Oh, what a mess!"

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Elias Zandi
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1996 CE (aged Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "{".Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "{".)

Home Age






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Elias Zandi was a wealthy archaeologist whose particular area of expertise and interest was the Southwestern United States of America. He was well known in archaeological circles, having visited a number of sites around the world to build up his collection of artifacts. It was when he began to focus on the South West that he came in contact with John "Fighting Branch" Loftin, who shared some of Zandi's interests.


While exploring in some caverns, Branch stumbled upon some D'ni digging machines. On 19 March, 1988 CE, Branch and Zandi made their first trip into the caverns. They traveled through a small crack in the earth into D'ni-made tunnels (Descent) past the long abandoned diggers, eventually reaching the top of the Great Shaft. They returned from that first trip as changed men. Elias wrote in his journal, "I have come to a place that I could never have imagined, and yet it seems I have come home."

It was in 1989, on their third major expedition that they reached the great D'ni cavern and saw the ruined city. Elias's journal stoically describes what they saw, but word has it that he was so overwhelmed that he collapsed to his knees and wept. He realized then that the size of this discovery required him to seek assistance, which led him to call an old friend, Dr. Richard A. Watson. It was around this time that Elias began the process of purchasing thousands of acres of land surrounding the area where the tunnels had been found.

In 1990, Branch, Zandi, and Dr. Watson made their first major expedition to D'ni together, a journey that ended up lasting more than three weeks and brought them to Ae'gura where they discovered a number of artifacts. Branch died during their next excursion (in 1991), and in 1992 Elias began to work with Watson on the restoration of D'ni. This was a project Zandi found so all-consuming his health began to deteriorate. In 1993 he underwent open-heart surgery, and his doctors warned him to slow down. But nothing would deter him, and in 1996 he died of a massive heart attack.

Elias left his fortune to the D'ni Restoration Foundation, the non-profit organization he had established. He left no money to his estranged son Jeff, but he did leave him the land in New Mexico.