Persepolis, Iran

Persepolis, Iran

Life Swift
Published on March 24, 2023
Persepolis, Iran

Introduction

Persepolis was initially built by Darius I in 518 B.C. The city was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire of Iran. It is also known as Old Persian Parsa or modern Takht-e Jamshīd. This in English means Throne of Jamshīd which was a character in Persian mythology. It is located in southwestern Iran and is about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Shīrāz. The ruins of Persepolis were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. It is one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.

History

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of prehistoric settlement in Persepolis. But, majorly it is believed that the city was built by Darius I. He made Persepolis the capital of Persia proper, replacing Pasargadae. Persepolis was an inconvenient royal residence as it was built in remote and mountainous region. Due to this, it was visited mainly in the spring. In 316 BCE, Persepolis was still the capital of Persis as a province of the Macedonian empire. But, under the Seleucid kingdom, the city gradually declined. Later in the first century of Islam, the city was still a place of considerable importance. Although, its greatness was soon to be eclipsed by the new metropolis of Shīrāz.

Authenticity

Persepolis has been able to maintain high level of authenticity. The materials, their forms and design are as they were before. Restoration works are done using traditional technology and materials. The present location of the Persepolis terrace and its related buildings is exactly same as before. And, no modern constructions are being done. So, this has helped in maintain the originality of the place.

Protection and management activities

The National Heritage Protection Law (1930, updated 1998) and the 1980 Legal bill on preventing clandestine diggings and illegal excavations are the major laws protecting Persepolis. It was registered in the national list of Iranian monuments on 15 September 1931. Legal protection and management of the property is underdone by Iranian Cultural Heritage and Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran. There is management and conservation office called Persepolis Research Base. It is responsible for the investigation, conservation, restoration, reorganization, and presentation of the property. It is necessary to monitor and evaluate air pollutants, weathering, and environmental factors to preserve the property. The government bodies also restrict any human activities which can affect the authenticity of the place. Still, there are issues of bacteria and fungi deteriorating rocks at some places.

Present situation

Persepolis was one of the top visited destinations in Iran in 2016. Due to political unrest, the country had faced international sanctions before 2016 which effected a lot to tourism. But in 2016, the overall tourism status in Iran was good. There was 18% increase in tourism. The 2500 years-old heritage is an attraction spot for tourists and locals. Tourists come there from different parts of the world. There are even archaeologists and researchers visiting the place to dig the past. They also try to find ways to make the place better and elongate its existence. There are proper facilities and infrastructures for tourists nearby to the place and tourists visit the place year-round.