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Towers of Silence, Iran (delbars / Adobe Stock)

Achaemenid Religion: Lighting the Spirit of Ancient Persia

The Achaemenid Persian Empire is historically important for the Western world because of the influence of the Persian civilization on both the ancient Greeks and the ancient Jews. Because of this...
Ruins of ancient Persepolis, Iran, with the columns of the Apadana Hall on the right. Source: pawopa3336 / Adobe Stock.

Apadana – The Everlasting Hall of the Achaemenids

Throughout countless centuries, across all kinds of different epochs, the great hypostyle hall of Apadana has been an impressive source of wonder and inspiration for all manner of folk. This once...
Xerxes

Xerxes The Great: The Powerful Persian King Whose Death Destroyed an Empire

Xerxes I, also known as Xerxes the Great, was a 5th century Achaemenid king of the Persian empire. He is best known for leading the massive invasion of Greece, marked by the battles of Thermopylae,...
Qal'at al-Bahrain.

Qal’at Al-Bahrain: Enter the Fort and Immerse Yourself in the Fascinating History of the Persian Gulf

Bahrain is a small island nation which is in the heart of the Persian Gulf (also known as the Arab Gulf) and has a rich culture and varied history. One of the most important and historic locations in...
Faravahar, one of the best-known symbols of ancient Iran (Persia). Relief in Persepolis.

The Plurality of the Persian Empire: Part I – The Achaemenids to the Sassanians

The land of Persia (also known as Iran) has been the center of several important empires throughout history. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, this was the land from which the mighty Achaemenids...
Naqsh-e Rustam

Naqsh-e Rustam: Ancient Tombs of Powerful Persian Kings

Naqsh-e Rustam is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring ancient sites of the Achaemenid Empire, consisting of the colossal tombs of Persian kings dating back to the first millennium BC. It...
Virtual recreation by Charles Chipiez. A panoramic view of the gardens and outside of the Palace of Darius I of Persia in Persepolis.

An Empire in Death: The Extensive Remains of Persepolis

Once the stunning capital of the Persian Empire (also known as the Achaemenid Empire), Persepolis was lost to the world for almost nineteen hundred years, buried in the dirt of southwestern Iran...
Remains of the Apadana, the Audience Palace

Alexander the Great’s Capital Punishment? The Building of Persepolis and its Flaming Demise

Persepolis is an ancient city that once served as the capital of the mighty Achaemenid Empire. Persepolis is the Greek name for ‘Parsa’, and both these names mean ‘Persian City’ or ‘City of the...
Five of the Most Powerful and Influential Empires of the Ancient World

Five of the Most Powerful and Influential Empires of the Ancient World

​The history of human civilization has seen the rise and fall of countless empires. Many of these empires have influenced history on a regional, or even on a global scale. Still, there are some...
Objects in the "Apadana" reliefs at Persepolis: armlets, bowls, and amphorae with griffin handles are given as tribute.

2,400-Year-Old Tomb in Iraq Holds 6 Skeletons and Bronze Goods – But It Was NOT Wealthy

A tomb in northern Iraq held a pile of skeletons of at least six people, including those who lived 2,400 years ago. Apart from the human remains, valuable objects where discovered in the tomb as well...
Scattered but Not Forgotten: The Amazing Ancient Persian Gold and Silver Oxus Treasure

Scattered but Not Forgotten: The Amazing Ancient Persian Gold and Silver Oxus Treasure

An incredible treasure discovered near the Oxus River is one of the most precious collections of ancient Persian artifacts. Only 180 pieces of jewelry, plaques, and statuettes, and about 200 coins...
Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great abruptly ended the reign of Darius III, and with it he saw the demise of the Achaemenid kings. However, while conquering new lands Alexander gained not only territory, but also...
Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita was a goddess associated with water, fertility, wisdom, warfare, and eventually the planet Venus. During the Achaemenid dynasty in Persia, she became incorporated into the Zoroastrian...
Salt man - Iran Baastan museum.

Preserved by Nature: Studying the Spectacular Salt Mummies of Iran

The saltmen are a group of natural mummies that were discovered in the Chehrabad Salt Mine in Iran. This mine is in the Zanjan Province and located about 340 km (211.27 miles) northwest of Tehran...
Mosaic depicting Persian Archers. (Pre 4th Century BC)

The Possible Origins of the Early Persian Kings: Mystery Men - Part I

I have written on the origins of the Arsacid Dynasty (Parthian Empire) and that of the Sassanid’s in previous articles. However, one dynasty often gets much attention in terms of its social,...

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