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Pasargadae: Citadel


Tall-i takht. Photo Marco Prins.
The giant walls; note the small figure standing next to it
Pasargadae: one of the oldest residences of the Achaemenid kings, founded by Cyrus the Great (r.559-530).
  
History Photos

At the northeastern end of Pasargadae is the citadel, called Tall-i Takht, "throne hill". It probably dates to the reign of Cyrus the Great (559-530), although it may also be a bit older than Pasargadae itself. The impressive western wall, made of beautifully carved regular stones, is about as old, and not unlike, Masjid-e Solaiman: the walls of both monuments were fitted together without mortar, but by using metal clamps.

A second phase of this monument, more or less corresponding to the fifth and fourth centuries, saw structures made of mudbrick. Among these, a copy was found of inscription XPh (the Daiva Inscription). In c.280 BCE, the site was destroyed by fire. Several coin hoards suggest that the people felt threatened - in other words, the site was destroyed by humans, and the inhabitants were unable to return and recover their possessions. There is no evidence for war in Persis at that moment, but there is a very tantalizing reference to Bactrian troops (?) at the End of Seleucus Chronicle (rev.8).

The hill was finally abandoned in c.200. A satellite photo can be seen here.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
The Tall-i Takht. Photo Jona Lendering. Stairs in the Tall-i Takht. Photo Richard Kroes. Tall-i takht. Photo Marco Prins. Tall-i-takht fortress at Pasargadae. Photo Marco Prins.
Tall-e Takht; photo Harold Hazenberg.
Tall-e Takht; photo Harold Hazenberg. Tall-e Takht; photo Harold Hazenberg. Tall-e Takht; photo Harold Hazenberg.

History Photos
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 11 Oct 2010
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other