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 Ionians and Lydians. Such technique is used may refer to Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Lydia in 546BC.
In terms of politics, from the extremely simple structure and the accessibility of the tomb, we could see that Cyrus the Great want to promote a positive image to people. Although Cyrus the Great had conquered many places, his tomb is designed in a simple way, we may deduce that Cyrus the Great is a humble king who does not want to show off his achievements. Furthermore, the accessibility of the tomb is extremely high. It may reveal that Cyrus the Great is a benevolence king who wants to be close to his people.
Apadana Palace, Persepolis
Palace Apadana, perhaps the most beautiful building in Persepolis, was designed by King Darius, after his conquest of Egypt in 518BC. It was Darius I’s favoutite residence. The whole building was supported by 72 delicately designed stone columns yet only 13 were left today. There were two finely crafted stairways located on the north and the east, which lead into the hall. The Apadana was mainly designed for Persian kings to receive tributes from all nations in the empire and at the same time, for the kings to send out gifts to the nations under their administration. From this...