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Persepolis: Army Road


An eagle capital at the Army Road, Persepolis. Photo Jona Lendering.
An eagle-griffin capital; Apadana and Darius' Palace in the background.
Persepolis (Old Persian Pârsa, 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

One of the constructions at Persepolis that remained unfinished, was the "Army road" or "Procession road". It started at the Gate of All Nations and continued to the east, where it was meant to make a sharp turn to the south; through a new gate, which also remained unfinished, one would have reached the Hall of hundred columns. A satellite photo can be seen here.

Although this project remained unfinished when the Macedonians of Alexander the Great sacked the palaces in the spring of 330, two large capitals representing the heads of an eagle-griffin were ready. For reasons that are unclear to us, they were buried, as if the makers believed the Macedonians should not see them - but why? Alternatively, they were made for a building project, but rejected - but, again: why?

This capital, regarded by some as an early representation of the Homa bird of medieval folklore, has become the symbol of Iran Air.
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Eagle capital, detail. Photo Marco Prins. Army Road. Photo Marco Prins. Eagle capital, detail. Photo Marco Prins.
History Photos
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 25 May 2010
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