Persia, a mysterious but familiar name, a name that we may only heard about in the Bible or movies, yet we don’t know what it’s really all about. In this paper, I would like to write a guide to unveil the mysteries of this Asian civilization by carefully choosing three historical and archaeological sites: tomb of Cyrus the Great, Apadana palace and Chogha Zanbil Ziggurats. From these sites, we could get a brief idea of ancient Persian civilization.
Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Pasargadae
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, which is located in Pasargadae, the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It is in the world heritage list of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The tomb is very simple in design and easy to access. Above the six steps of stairs at the bottom, there are three main parts of the tomb, an elevated podium, a small chamber and a roof. From these simple structures we could tell about the culture, politics and technology of the Achaemenid Empire.
In terms of culture, we could see that the mausoleum of Cyrus the Great is a blend of different cultures such as Elamite and Urartian. For example, the small chamber of the tomb is believed to be influenced by the Urartian, which is located at Armenia today. Moreover, the design of the Tomb is based on Elamite zigguarts. From these perspectives, we could appreciate the intelligence of Persian to combine different cultures in architecture.
As for technology, we could see the uses of Ionian and Lydian archaeological techniques. The basic unit of the tomb is blocks that have almost the same size and interestingly, they are put together without any cement but a system of special clamps. This technology is originated from the Ionia...
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Lendering, Jona. LIVIUS. June 14, 2010. http://www.livius.org/pen-pg/persepolis/persepolis_apadana.html (accessed December 4, 2013).
Root, Margaret Cool. "Thr Parthenon Frieze and the Apadana Reliefs at Persepolis: Reassessing a Programmatic Relationship." American Journal of Archaeology (Archaeological Institute of America) 89, no. 1 (January 1985): 103-120.
Schmandt-Besserat, Denise. "Visiting Archaeological Sites in Iran.
" Near Eastern Archaeology (The American Schools of Oriental Research) 68, no. 3 (Sep. 2005): 139-144.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. World Heritage List. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1106 (accessed December 4, 2013).
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. World Heritage List. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/113 (accessed Dcember 4, 2013).
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