The ensemble of Naghsh-e Rostam and Naghsh-e Rajab near Shiraz, Fars province, Iran. Both of them are the main tourist destination in Iran and submitted on UNESCO’ list of tentative cultural heritage in 1997.
Naghsh-e Rostam is a complex, including royal necropolis, reliefs, inscriptions, cube of Zoroaster and other structure. Naghsh-e Rajab is the Sasanian archaeological site, both of them are multi-period but the main structures dates back to Achaemenids emperors.
Naghshe Rostam structures
Tombs: based on tomb order from right to left, there are four tomb respectively, belong to Xerxes I (c. 486-465 BC), Darius I (c. 522-486 BC), Artaxerxes I (c. 465-424 BC), and Darius II (c. 423-404 BC. There is also one unfinished there probably belong to Artaxerxes III (c. 358 to 338 BC) or Darius III (c. 336-330 BC), the last king of the Achaemenid Dynasts. The tombs cut into the body of a cliff, the facades include large panels over the entrance, the entrance at the middle of a cross, which open to a small chamber. Facades adorned with the figures of the king, Sun, fire place, smaller figures and inscriptions.
Inscriptions: there are some important inscription here mostly belong to Achaemenian kings. The main inscriptions are DNa belong to Darius I where the territories controlled by the Achaemenid Empire are clearly listed. Shapur I inscription and Kartir, the mūbadān mūbad inscription.
The reliefs: the rocky reliefs are the most memorable pictures in this complex, they are multi- period with different theme. The themes include the introduction of the king, coronation, war, and the surrender of enemies. The oldest relief dates back to Elamian, then there are the Achaemenian relief mostly demonstrates king worshiping and the Sasanian reliefs. The Sasanian relief show the complex was an important and holy palace during the Sassanid era. The most considerable Sasanian reliefs are Triumph of Shapur I (c. 241–272), Grandee relief of Bahram II (c. 276–293) and Two equestrian reliefs of Bahram II (c. 276–293).
Ka’ba-ye Zartosht: Ka’ba-ye Zartosht or the Cube of Zoroaster, is a cube-shaped structre in the foreground, against the backdrop of Naqsh-e Rostam it is copy of a sister building at Pasargadae, the “Prison of Solomon” (Zendān-e Solaymān). Based on a theory this building is where the holy book of Zoroastrians Avesta was kept.
Naqsh-e Rajab is an archaeological site located west of the historical city Istakhr and about 5 km north of Persepolis in Fars Province, there are four limestone rock face inscriptions and rock-cut bas-reliefs that date to the early period of Sasanian dynasty. the reliefs belong to Ardeshir I (r. 226-241 CE), the founder of the Sasanian dynasty. The second investiture inscription belong to Shapur I (241-272 CE). A third bas-relief, known as ‘Shapur’s Parade’ demonstrated the victory in 244 over the Roman emperor. A fourth bas-relief and inscription is attributed
read more: Sassanid archeology of Fars region
Tape Sialk is one of important the prehistoric sites in Near East, the site consists of two mounds known as Northern and Southern Sialk, located about 600 meters apart. The site located in Kashan, the popular tourism destination in Isfahan province and submitted in tentative list of UNESCO cultural heritage in 1997. There is chief evidence introduced site as the first villages in Iranian plateau. The artefacts of the northern mounds belong to 6000-5000 BC. After that period the inhabitants moved to the southern mound and settled there.
Sialk was the proto-Elamian centre and has an Important economic role in old world’s trade system. They used a type of script known as proto-Elamite, whose signs combined pictograms and numerals (3200 BC). There were two Iron age cemeteries nearby named graveyard A and B where the evidence of use of grey ceramic ware show the last inhabitants of Sialk buried there were the Aryan immigrants, before the advent of the Medes.
Kashan historical sites have been listed in UNESCO tentative cultural heritage under the title ‘’The Historical–Cultural Axis of Fin, Sialk, Kashan’’ in 2007.
Taq-e Bostan refers to an archaeological site with a series of rock reliefs dates back to the Sasanian dynasty (224- 636 BC) submitted on UNESCO tentative list in 2007. The complex is 5 km far from Kermanshah and consists of a series of properties from prehistoric to historical periods such as Morad-Hassel Tepe, the ancient village, a Parthian graveyard and a Sassanid hunting ground and Sasanian reliefs. The reliefs carved on the rocky cliffs inside two porticos (large and small Iwans) as well as outstanding bas-reliefs from the same period. The reliefs demonstrate the representations of the investitures of Ardashir II (379–383) and Shapur III (383–388). Taq-e Bostan accentuate the power, glory and religious tendencies of Sassanids. Sassanid kings chose this beautiful setting adjacent the lake for their rock reliefs along an historic spot on Silk Road.
Iwan of Khusrow II
This portico is the most popular spot in this site, including three figures on the back wall of the large Iwan represent Khosrow Parviz (r. 590- 628 AD), Ahura Mazda and Anahita. They are placed above a mounted Persian knight, thought to be Khosrow Parviz himself on his favourite charger, Shabdiz. On the right and left side of the Iwan, the hunting scenes depict the imperial boar hunt, and in a similar spirit, the other scene shows the king stalking deer. The reliefs demonstrate the king as he stands poised with bow and arrow in hand while being serenaded by female musicians, in next parts the hunting process narrated.