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Persepolis: Apadana, East Stairs


General view of the eastern Apadana stairs, Persepolis. Photo Marco Prins.
The eastern stairs
Persepolis (Old Persian Pārsa, modern Takht-e Jamshid): Greek name of one of the capitals of the ancient Achaemenid empire, founded by the great king Darius (522-486 BCE). There were several satellite sites, like Naqš-i Rustam and Takht-e Rostam.
  
History Photos
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Thracians
Sagartians
Bactrians
Egyptians*
Arians
Parthians
Elamites
Medes

Carians
Arabs
Sogdians
Gandarans
Sacae
Syrians
Babylonians
Armenians

Nubians
Libyans
LION/BULL
Indians
Arachosians
Greeks
Cappadocians
Lydians


*The Egyptians are badly damaged.
Map of the Persian empire. Design Jona Lendering. The eastern stairs of the Apadana at Persepolis show a procession of people bringing tribute to the Achaemenid king, Darius the Great (r.522-486). The relief consists of three parts: the northern wall, with representations of Achaemenid dignitaries; the center, with eight soldiers; and the southern wall, showing representatives of all subject nations (picture above). The relief miraculously survived the sack of Persepolis by the soldiers of Alexander the Great in 330 BCE.


The Sagartians, who probably lived in the area of modern Yazd, wear a horseman's dress and cloaks. They were famous horsemen, fighting with lassoes. Their presents are garments and a bridled stallion.
A Sagartian. Eastern stairs of the apadana at Persepolis. Photo Marco Prins. They are dressed like Medes and Armenians. Their turban is used to protect their faces, which remains one of the fact that Yazd is an oasis in the desert.


The relief that showed the Sogdians, who lived in Uzbekistan, is badly damaged. Yet it is clear that they brought the great king a sword (akinakes), a pair of oblong rings, a pair of battle axes, and a bridled stallion.
A Persian officer leading the Sogdian delegation, taking their leader by the hand. The third man carries the akinakes. All men are dressed like archers.
A Sogdian. Eastern stairs of the apadana at Persepolis. Photo Marco Prins. The relief shows that they wore some sort of tight-fitting cap.


An Indian on the eastern Apadana stairs, Persepolis. Photo Marco Prins. An Indian carrying gold. The ancients told lots of tall stories about the proverbial wealth of the Punjab and the valley of the Indus. The Greek researcher Herodotus of Halicarnassus tells one of the most remarkable ones (text), which -no doubt- he had heard from a Persian spokesman. Next to this Indian was one of his compatriots, with a buffalo.

You can find pictures of the faces of all the represented people here.

>> part nine >>



History Photos
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 14 June 2010
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other