Did you know about 2500 years ago a land existed in which women had much more equal rights than today? They had equal job opportunities and salaries with the men. Moreover, they were never treated badly in society. It’s a good introduction to Persepolis, the capital of the Achaemenid empire.
We can take a time to travel to Shiraz. It’s near to the ancient city of Persepolis or Takht-e Jamshid. Under the shining light of the Sun, fields of wheat dance gently and give us a graceful bow to say everybody is always welcome here, to the city of the peace.
The first sign of Persepolis Shiraz is a holly mountain range which was important for the ancient people. If you listen carefully, you can hear the bell sound of the camels from a passing caravan. The travelers can transfer the reputation of the Achaemenid empire’s new capital city.
As here was a holy site and on the caravan road, the Great Cyrus chose this place for establishing Takht-e Jamshid. When the fame of the grand palaces reached Greece, they called the new city Persepolis which means the city of Parse.
As we get closer to the huge rocky walls, the reliefs start to tell their stories. They have observed many things during these years and kept many secrets.
“It’s Nowruz and Persepolis is crowded. Persepolis was built to host the Persian empire’s ceremonies. So different delegations bring their tributes to the Achaemenid emperor. The first signs of respect and justice for all the nations can be found in this bas-relief. No matter the delegations are black Ethiopians or Bedouin Arabs, no one is bowing. The Achaemenid emperor treats to the delegations as the representatives of the different nations, not a humble slave. Here the human rights apply for everyone, even more than today.”
Why You Should Visit Persepolis?
Even now visiting the tall columns or large terrace makes us excited, let alone the ancient people. Let’s see this site carefully. For example, look at the great double staircase. Lots of stairs with shallow risers. Ancient Iranians liked to step gently and knew it as a sign of dignity. The shallow risers allowed the nobles and royalty to ascend with a regal appearance. Just imagine how beautiful was a Persian princess in a long dress train when she was ascending the stairways gently.
But the delicacy wasn’t the builders’ single goal. They wanted to build a city to live forever. So, they chose the dark-grey marble as basic material and polished it. As a result, the reliefs have good conditions and they are smooth like a mirror after many years.
History Of The Palace Of The Persepolis
Imagine more than 2500 years ago, an empty land was turned into a home of many for thousand years afterward. It’s believed that Cyrus the Great chose the Site of Persepolis but Darius I was the empire who started to build it.
It’s not possible to read a history book and not see the Achaemenid empire and Persepolis history in the ancient civilization part. Achaemenid empire which is known as the first Persian empire, was established by Cyrus the Great.
Darius I, the fourth emperor of the Achaemenid empire and also the most famous one, built Persepolis and make the Persian empire greater.
They had social services that are advanced and professional even for our time. If a law was passed by the government, they sent it to every city or other countries.
And finally, Alexander the Great conquered this glory Persian empire.
How Persepolis Was Built
Darius I started to establish Takht-e Jamshid after her grandfather chose the site. This city was a seasonal Capital city and they used it for ceremonies from 550 to 330 B.C.
Persepolis divides into three general parts: military quarter, the treasury and the reception halls which include big palaces. The ruins show that they built palaces of Persepolis of dark-grey marble. Alexander the Great ordered to set Persepolis on the fire and destroyed everything in 300 B.C.
So out of hundreds of columns, only 15 columns are alive. For making this noble structure, hundreds of the most experienced architectures, engineers and artists gathered together from every part of the world to build a symbol for peace and equality for many years. They used lead in columns to protect the building against earthquake or they decorated the walls by delicate flowers. They wanted to keep this site forever.
You can have an online tour in Persepolis through this link.
4 Interesting Facts About The Achaemenid Empire
We’ve heard many tales about how life was in the Achaemenid empire. It’s a combined picture of tolerant imperial but tough. What is reality? Let’s see together.
- Cyrus the Great made the earliest human right charter and he announced everybody could practice whatever he wants. Moreover, he guaranteed tolerance for any race or language in his empire. When Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon, he did it with the minimal bloodshed and set the captivate Jews free.
- There was an ancient Persian empire that didn’t use slave labor for making palaces? The Persian empire didn’t rely on slave labor for making Persepolis. No one tortured them during work and they worked in good condition.
- Social services were very important during the Achaemenid empire. For example, the first known general hospital belongs to ancient Persia and they taught new doctors there.
Even they had a postal service all over the country and a messenger could travel in just seven days.
- The women lived actively in the public and took many rules like a commander or politician. Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great and wife of Darius I, was an effective empress during the Achaemenid empire. Artemisia, the advisor of Xerxes, commanded her ship in the battles.
Different Parts Of Persepolis Ruins
In the Persepolis map, we can see different palaces and parts that have different functions. Some of them were built for political issues. Others were due to the love story between the king and his queen. Let’s read a few details about some of them.
Darius I established the oldest part of Persepolis for different ceremonies like Nowruz. Probably Apadana was a reception hall for the Persian emperors to exchange the gifts and so it could be the most beautiful of the buildings in Takht-e Jamshid. (The seventy-two tall columns and a large hall can prove this claim!)
Darius I needed a palace for settling down during winter so he decided to made Tachara palace exclusively for himself. For making everything more royal, he ordered to make a garden around his palace to spend his winter there. Although this palace was the smallest of the buildings in Persepolis, he died before completing it.
There is a story of love and hate in this Palace. After Daruis I, his son Xerxes became the king and he continued to complete Persepolis. He made Hadish palace for himself and called here by his queen’s name. Xerxes conquered Athens and burnt it. Years after when Greeks conquered Persepolis, the set the fire on this palace before other parts because if the hatred that they had on Xerxes.
Showra palace or Council palace probably was a place for consulting with elders and important persons. There are several reliefs of human heads which is the symbol of thought.
How To Visit Persepolis Ruins
Persepolis ruins are out of the city of Shiraz. In addition, there are different and famous historical sites like Naqsh-e Rostam that are few kilometers further from Takht-e Jamshid. So for visiting these sites together, you need an efficient plan, a car, and a guide!
By a good plan, you can be sure to visit every part of the site without being in a hurry. Also, you can visit all historical sites around in a day. But who can give you the best plan? A guide!
A guide helps you to not miss any detail. As he/she tells the story which takes you to ancient times, you can enjoy visiting the amazing parts.
You can have a good plan, a knowledgeable guide and a comfortable car in an Iran tour to get rid of hassles and just immerse in the Achaemenid empire time.