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See E. F. Schmidt, Persepolis (3 vol., 1953–70); M. Wheeler, Flames over Persepolis (1968); D. N. Wilbur, Persepolis, the Archaeology of Parsa (1969).
(in ancient Persian, Parsa; in Persian, Takhti-Jamshid), a city in ancient Iran, located 50 km northeast of Shiraz; one of the capitals of the Achaemenids. Persepolis was founded in the late sixth century B.C. at the beginning of the reign of Darius I the Great. The city’s chief buildings were erected during the reigns of Darius I and Xerxes. Captured by Alexander the Great in 330 B.C., the city was razed and abandoned. Extensive excavations of Persepolis and its environs were conducted by the German scholar E. Herzfeld from 1931 to 1934 and the American archaeologist E. Schmidt from 1935 to 1939. Since 1939 the Iranian archaeological service has carried on the work, initially under the supervision of the French scholar A. Godard, and later, the Iranian archaeologists M. T. Mus-tafavi and A. Sami. Finds include inscriptions of the Achaeme-nid kings and thousands of clay tablets with text in Elamite containing information about the building of the city and the economy of the region.
Numerous buildings of various eras have been preserved in Persepolis and its environs. The remains of a walled palace (late sixth to fourth centuries B.C.) stand on a stone platform abutting a slope of the Kuh-i-Rahmat. West of the palace are the remains of the city proper. Tombs were built into the cliffs above the platform between 405 and 338 B.C.; near the platform stand the foundations of a temple of fire (third century B.C.). In the environs, at the foot of the Kuh-i-Rahmat, there is a complex of three Sassanid cliff reliefs called the Naksh-i-Radzhab; traces of a round Sassanid city, Darabgerd; and the remains of the city of Istakhr, which was founded by the Achaemenids and abandoned in the tenth century. At the base of the Khosein-Kuh are the necropolis Naksh-i-Rustam, which includes four Achaemenid cliff tombs built between 521 and 405 B.C. and the fire temple of Kabai-Zardusht; Sassanid reliefs; and cliff altars. Nearby is Tali-Bakun, the remains of a settlement that dates back to the fifth millennium B.C.
REFERENCESD’iakonov, M. M. Ocherk istorii Drevnego Irana. Moscow, 1961.
Schmidt, E. F. Persepolis, vols. 1-2. Chicago [1953-57].
Cameron, G. G. Persepolis Treasury Tablets. Chicago, 1948.
Hallock, R. T. Persepolis Fortification Tablets. Chicago, 1969.