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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...
Assyrian Cuneiform

Deciphering Cuneiform to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...
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...
relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing.

The Controversial Road to the Recovery of Cuneiform Texts

It is a little-known piece of history that Saddam Hussein was a great fan of ancient Mesopotamian literature. His enthusiasm for epics written in cuneiform – the world’s oldest known form of writing...
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...
Detail of the Alexander Sarcophagus located in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Gold coins

Alexander the Great Destroyer: Ancient Revenge or War for Profit? – Part II

“As Persepolis had exceeded all other cities in prosperity, so in the same measure it now exceeded all others in misery.” Miseries along with poverty, for the people were raped of their land and...
Detail of the Alexander Sarcophagus located in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Here Alexander fights the Persians at the Battle of Issus.

Alexander the Great Destroyer? The Sacking of Persepolis and The Business of War – Part I

Alexander the Great has gained an immortality in his strong presence in our minds as well as in the history books. Known for a greatness of military genius and diplomatic skills, he conquered most of...
A panoramic view of the gardens and outside of the Palace of Darius I of Persia in Persepolis.

The Spectacular Monumental Architecture of the Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire is traditionally believed to have been founded by Cyrus the Great during the middle of the 6 th century B.C. In 559 B.C., Cyrus became the king of Persis, and 9 years later,...
‘Buddha offers fruit to the devil’ from 14th century Persian manuscript ‘The Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh’ (Compendium of Chronicles).

Ancient Persian Inscriptions Link a Babylonian King to the Man Who Became Buddha

Dramatic evidence has revealed the presence of Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became Buddha, as far west as Persia. Family seals and records found at Persepolis, the ancient capital of the fourth...
Darius the Great receiving greetings and gifts from governors and ambassadors. Relief from Persepolis, Iran

Nowruz - The Persian New Year and The Spring Equinox

Nowruz, known as the Persian new year, is one of the most ancient celebrations in history and has been celebrated for around 4000 years in what is now Iran and in the extended cultural area known as...
2,500-year-old city of Persepolis in Iran

Excavations uncover large ancient gate in 2,500-year-old city of Persepolis in Iran

Excavations at Persepolis, a magnificent palace complex in Iran founded by Darius the Great around 518 BC, have uncovered a great ancient gate in Tale-Ajori, within the Firouzi Complex. Even older...