When in Persepolis | Visit Naqsh-e Rustam

Only twelve kilometers from Persepolis, the ancient necropolis of Naqsh-e Rustam would be worth the trip even without that proximity.  There are carvings here that date to 1000 BCE in addition to the four tombs of Achaemenid Kings, including Darius the Great and Xerxes.  The tomb of Xerxes is not visible above, but is perpendicular to these three and just to the right. The tomb of Darius … Continue reading When in Persepolis | Visit Naqsh-e Rustam

A Day at Persepolis | Iran

Few places exceed my expectations as did Iran overall and Persepolis specifically. I never took Ancient History and don’t know mythology well. Even so, I fell under the spell of this remarkable place. Persepolis, known to Iranians as Takht-e Jamshid (throne of Jamshid – a mythic being who – in the middle ages – was thought to have built it)  was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire for a little over two centuries (ca. 550–330 BCE). Conceived by and with construction commenced under Darius the Great and destroyed by Alexander the Great (the historian Plutarch contended that it took 20,000 mules and 5,000 camels to remove the treasure), the city’s ruins are marvelous to behold. UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site in 1979. Persepolis is easy to reach from Shiraz and warrants an entire day to absorb its wonders.  Continue reading “A Day at Persepolis | Iran”

Cyrus the Great Slept Here (Pasargadae, Iran)

Miles from nowhere, the 6th century BCE complex of Pasargadae was built by  Cyrus the Great  who was the first ruler of the Achaemenid Empire. Renowned for its centralized administration, respect for its diverse population and human rights, at its peak, the empire extended from the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the present day Pakistani-Indian border. Pasargadae is one of 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iran. The 160 hectare (400 acre) … Continue reading Cyrus the Great Slept Here (Pasargadae, Iran)