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Iran: Naghsh-e Rostam

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Naghsh-e Rostam | Iran | Asia

[Visited: May 2001]

Not far from the famed city of Persepolis, are the four tombs of ancient Persian kings. Although this is still open to debate and speculation, the tombs seem to be those of Darius I and II, Xerxes I and Artaxerxes. From a distance they look like four huge crosses in the cliff in which they are carved out, but closer by you see that the tombs have actually been created in the "wall" of the crosses.

Picture of Naghsh-e Rostam (Iran): Naghsh e Rostam tombs

Under the tombs, at eye level, many more recent reliefs are to be found. Several scenes, mostly from wars fought many centuries ago, these depict men, horses, other animals and also ancient scripts like Elamite. The tombs themselves are, unfortunately, not accessible to the public anymore. While walking at the feet of these enormous carvings, I felt truly dwarfed by their size.

Picture of Naghsh-e Rostam (Iran): Naghsh e Rostam tombs

Then there is a tower-like construction which was used either as a fire-temple or a house of prayers in ancient times. Walking further to the edge of the cliffs, there are more reliefs in the rocks, depicting amongst others the Roman emperor Valeriano and a Persian king. On top of the hill, there is a column where fires were lit to communicate with Persepolis. If anything, walking around this area gave me an overwhelming sensation of history.

Picture of Naghsh-e Rostam (Iran): Naghsh e Rostam tombs
Picture of Naghsh-e Rostam (Iran): Naghsh e Rostam tombs
Picture of Naghsh-e Rostam (Iran): Naghsh e Rostam tombs
Picture of Naghsh-e Rostam (Iran): Naghsh e Rostam tombs

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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