Date:

Pasargadae – The First Dynastic Capital of the Achaemenid Empire

Pasargadae is an ancient city and capital of the Achaemenid Empire, located in the present-day province of Fars in southwestern Iran.

The city was founded by Cyrus II, also called Cyrus the Great between 550-530 BC, who established the Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire after Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire in 553 BC, and in 550 BC succeeded in defeating the Medes, capturing Astyages and taking the Median capital city of Ecbatana.

Cyrus established a multi-state empire, governed from four capital cities: Pasargadae, Babylon, Susa and Ecbatana, with Pasargadae serving as the first dynastic capital and historical centre.

The Empire is generally believed to be the first that respected the various cultural diversities of its inhabitants, spanning the Eastern Mediterranean, and Egypt, to the Hindus River that flows through China, India, and Pakistan.

- Advertisement -
Image Credit : Carole Raddato – CC BY-SA 2.0

The primary buildings of Pasargadae include royal palaces and ornate irrigated gardens, temples, an audience hall, and the tomb of Cyrus the Great (although there is no conclusive evidence identifying the tomb as that of Cyrus) that stand isolated over a wide area covering 395 acres.

The city represents the earliest manifestation of Persian or Iranian art and architecture in the written history of ancient Iran, and also the first manifestation of an imperial combined (composite, synthetical) art in the Near East recognised as ‘Achaemenid art’.

Overlooking the city is a citadel projecting from a low, conical hill called the fortress of Toll-e Takht (“Solomon’s Throne”), which may have originally been constructed as a fortified plinth to hold additional palaces and temples during the Achaemenid period.

Image Credit : Carole Raddato – CC BY-SA 2.0

With the construction of Persepolis by King Darius I as a new capital, Pasargadae was eclipsed in grandeur but continued to be a ceremonial centre where the inauguration of the dynastic kings took place until the empire was conquered by Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 330 BC.

In later centuries, Tall-e Takht continued to be used as a fort, while the palaces and lower city was abandoned and robbed of stone.

Header Image Credit : Carole Raddato – CC BY-SA 2.0

- Advertisement -
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Study uses satellite imagery to identify over 1,000 Andean hillforts

A new study, published in the journal Antiquity, uses satellite imagery to survey hillforts known as pukaras in the Andean highlands.

Roman defensive spikes unveiled at the Leibniz Centre for Archaeology

In 2023, archaeologists from Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main uncovered a series of wooden defensive spikes during excavations of a 1st century AD Roman fort in Bad Ems, western Germany.

Obsidian blade linked to Coronado’s expedition to find the fabled city of gold

Archaeologists suggest that a flaked-stone obsidian blade could be linked to the expedition led by Francisco Vasquez de Coronado to search for the fabled city of gold.

Clay seal stamp from First Temple period found in Jerusalem

Archaeologists have discovered a clay seal stamp from the First Temple period during excavations in the Western Wall Plaza, Jerusalem.

Offering of human sacrifices found at Pozo de Ibarra

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered an offering of human sacrifices at the Mexican town of Pozo de Ibarra.

Excavation uncovers preserved wooden cellar from Roman period

Archaeologists from the Frankfurt Archaeological Museum have uncovered a well-preserved wooden celler in Frankfurt, Germany.

Preserved temples from the Badami Chalukya era found in India

Archaeologists from the Public Research Institute of History, Archaeology, and Heritage (PRIHAH) have announced the discovery of two temples dating from the Badami Chalukya era.

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.