The Ancient Persian Empire

Parthian Prince, from Sham-Izeh, Malamir, 50 BCE
Parthian Prince, from Sham-Izeh, Malamir, 50 BCE

The early history of man in Iran goes back well beyond the Neolithic period, it begins to get more interesting around 6000 BC, when people began to domesticate animals Continue reading The Ancient Persian Empire

What and Where is Persepolis?

Persepolis is the name of an archaeological ruin, part of the Achaemenid Dynasty of the Persian Empire, established by King Darius about 515 BC. The site is one of the best known archaeological ruins in the world, and probably the most important Achaemenid capital. Persepolis is located about 50 kilometers northeast of Shiraz and is open to visitors. Continue reading What and Where is Persepolis?

Ancient Parthian Empire

Definition: Parthia was an early Persian empire, in between the Achaemenian and Sasanid Empires and centered in northeastern Iran between 247 BC and AD 228. At its height, Parthia ruled all of what is now Iran and everything else between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.

Rose, Charles B. 2005 The Parthians in Augustan Rome. American Journal of Archaeology 109(1):21-76.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology. Sources for the term include the references listed on the front page of the Dictionary, and the websites listed in the sidebar. Any mistakes are the responsibility of Kris Hirst.

Also Known As: Parthia
Examples:

Sites include Assak, Nisa, Ashur

The Persian Nowruz

By : Iraj Bashiri

Introduction

The oldest of Iranian traditions, Nowruz (also referred to as eyd-i sar-i sal and eyd-i sal-i now) recalls the cosmological and mythological times of Iran. Its founder is a deputy of Ahura Mazda on earth, a position that imparts to him and the celebration a spiritual dimension and a particular sense of secular authority. The celebration is organized according to the dynamics of love between the Creator and his creation, the material world. The annual return of the spirits of the departed to their homes is celebrated by their offspring according to primordial rites of which only a faint trace remains among the Persians and the Parsees of today. But that in no way diminishes the importance of the bond which is refreshed at every Nowruz. Continue reading The Persian Nowruz

Archaeology Achaemenid Dynasty

The Achaemenids were the ruling dynasty of Cyrus the Great and his family over the Persian empire, from 550-330 BC, when it was conquered by Alexander the Great. Cyrus’s empire included Libya, Ethiopia, Thrace, Macedonia, Afghanistan, and the Punjab and everything in between. Continue reading Archaeology Achaemenid Dynasty

Persian Empire: Timeline and Definition Archaeology

Tomb of Cyrus, Pasargadae (Iran)Tomb of Cyrus, Pasargadae (Iran)

Shirley Schermer (c) 2002

Definition:

The Persian Empire included all of what is now Iran, and in fact Persia was the official name of Iran until 1935. At its height about 500 BC, the founding dynasty of the empire, the Achaemenids, had conquered Asia as far as the Indus River, Greece, and North Africa including what is now Egypt and Libya. Continue reading Persian Empire: Timeline and Definition Archaeology