Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550-330 BCE), sometimes known as First Persian Empire, was an empire in Southwest Asia, founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great. It expanded to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world which at around 500 BCE stretched from the Indus Valley in the east, to Thrace and Macedon on the northeastern border of Greece.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Ahwar of Southern Iraq Esagila Temple in Uruk
Babylon Under Cyrus and the subsequent Persian king Darius I, Babylon became the capital city of the 9th Satrapy, as well as a centre of learning and scientific advancement. In Achaemenid Persia, the ancient Babylonian arts of astronomy and mathematics were revitalized, and Babylonian scholars completed maps of constellations. The city became the administrative capital of the Persian Empire and remained prominent for over two centuries.
Bam Cultural Landscape The origins of Bam can be traced back to the Achaemenid period
Bisotun features remains from the prehistoric times to the Median, Achaemenid, Sassanian, and Ilkhanid periods
Hawraman/Uramanat "As part of the Achaemenid territory (the Medes Satrapy) Hawraman/Uramanat region also enjoyed a relative tranquillity until the demise of the Achaemenid empire." (Nomination file, p. 134)
Kunya-Urgench Urgench was the capital of the Khorezm region, part of the Achaemenid Empire
Pasargadae Pasargadae was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great
Persepolis Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. André Godard, the French archaeologist who excavated Persepolis in the early 1930s, believed that it was Cyrus the Great who chose the site of Persepolis, but that it was Darius I who built the terrace and the palaces. Inscriptions on these buildings support the belief that they were constructed by Darius.
Persian Garden The legacy of the Persian garden throughout the Middle East and South Asia starts in the Achaemenid period, especially with the construction of Pasargadae by Cyrus the Great.
Pyramids (Memphis) Egypt and Memphis were taken for Persia by king Cambyses in 525 BC after the Battle of Pelusium. Under the Persians, structures in the city were preserved and strengthened, and Memphis was made the administrative headquarters of the newly conquered satrapy. For almost a century and a half, the city remained the capital of the Persian satrapy of Egypt, officially becoming one of the epicentres of commerce in the vast territory conquered by the Achaemenid monarchy.
Susa Under the Achaemenids, and particularly from Darius' reign, Susa was one of the elected residences of the Kings. (AB ev)
Taxila "The Bhir mound is the earliest historic city of Taxila and was probably founded in the 6th century BC by the Achaemenids" (AB eval and UNESCO Web site)


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