Persepolis Parsa in Old Persian was a capital of the Achaemenid Persian Empire . The site is located in the plain of Marvdasht at the foot of the mountain Kuh -e Rahmat , about 70 km northeast of the city of Shiraz , Fars Province , Iran.
Its construction began in 521 BC. AD by order of Darius. It is part of an extensive program of monumental construction to emphasize the unity and diversity of the Achaemenid Persian Empire , and the legitimacy of royal power. It appeals to the workers and artisans from all satrapies of the empire. The architecture is the result of an original combination of styles from these provinces creating the Persian architectural style outlined in Pasargadae , also found at Susa and Ecbatana . This combination of expertise also marks other Persian arts such as sculpture or jewelry. Construction of Persepolis continues for more than two centuries, until the conquest of the empire and the partial destruction of the city by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. AD
The site is visited several times over the centuries by Western travelers, but it was not until the seventeenth century it is authenticated as the ruins of the Achaemenid capital. Many archaeological explorations allow subsequently better grasp structures , but also the appearance and past functions.
Persepolis includes a large palatial complex built on a monumental terrace that supports multiple pillared buildings. These palaces have specific protocol functions , ritual , symbolic , or administrative : audience , royal apartments , administration treasure home . Near the Terrace were other elements : houses in the lower town, royal tombs , altars, gardens. Many bas-reliefs carved on the doors of the palace stairs and represent the diversity of the peoples composing the empire. Others spend the image of a royal patron power, sovereign, legitimate and absolute, or designate Xerxes as legitimate successor of Darius the Great. Multiple persépolitaines cuneiform royal inscriptions written in Old Persian , Babylonian , Elamite or engraved at various locations on the site, proceed the same goals , and also specify certain buildings the king who ordered their erection.
The idea that Persepolis had an annual ritual and occupation dedicated to the receipt by the king tribute offered by the subject nations of the empire to the ceremonies of the Persian New Year has long prevailed . It is now certain that the city was permanently occupied and held administrative and central political role for the government of the empire. Many written on tablets found in buildings and fortifications treasure clay archives have established these roles, and provides valuable insights on the Achaemenid imperial administration and construction of the complex. Persepolis is inscribed on the World Heritage list of UNESCO since 1979.