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Persepolis: Unfinished Gate


The Unfinished gate. Photo Jona Lendering. 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

Construction of the Unfinished Gate of Persepolis (map 11) was probably started by king Artaxerxes III Ochus (358-338), and ought to have been continued by his successors Artaxerxes IV Arses (338-336) and Darius III Codomannus (336-330). However, there was a civil war going on, and later, the Macedonians invaded the Achaemenid Empire. This probably explains why the monument was never finished.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

If it had been completed, visitors would have entered Persepolis through the Gate of All Nations, would have proceeded through the Army road, crossed this gate, and had reached the Hall of hundred columns. However, the monument was still unfinished when the Macedonian king Alexander the Great captured Persepolis in the first weeks of 330 BCE.


Today, hardly anything survives, except for one pair of unfinished lamassu's in the south (a lamassu is a bull with the head of a bearded man). The third picture shows the Unfinished Gate and, to the left, the Gate of all nations.

A satellite photo can be seen here.


History Photos
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 24 May 2010
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