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Persepolis (Old Persian PÔrsa, modern Takht-e Jamshid): Greek name of one of the capitals of the ancient Achaemenid empire, founded by the great king Darius (522-486 BCE), forty-three kilometers downstream from the capital of Cyrus the Great, Pasargadae. Pictures of Persepolis can be found here.
There are some indications that the site of Persepolis was already a government's center under Cyrus the Great (559-530) and his son Cambyses II (530-522), but there are no archaeological traces of this older phase. However this may be, it seems as if Darius 'invented' Persepolis as the splendid seat of the government of the Achaemenid empire and as its center for receptions and festivals. The wealth of Persia was to be visible in every aspect of its construction. Persepolis was a showcase .

The first building phase (dark blue on the map) may have lasted from 518 to 490. Darius' men leveled the ground and created a terrace of 450x300 meters, on which stood a large building (the 'treasury' in the south-east; #2 on the second map) and an audience hall. In the treasury, the booty of the conquered tribes and states and the annual tribute sent by the king's loyal subjects on the occasion of the New Year's festival, were stored. Many people were employed to keep the gold and silver shining: from the Fortification tablets, it is known that in 467 BCE, no less than 1348 people were employed in the treasury.

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Additional Photos by Azad Yasamin (azadys) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 162 W: 14 N: 15] (717)
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