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Kupan / Dav-Dokhtar (Brthatka?)

Kupan or Dav-Dokhtar: town in Iran, location of an Achaemenid rock tomb.

Kupan rock tomb
Kupan rock tomb
In two aspects, the Achaemenid tomb at Kupan (west of modern Fahliyan along the main road from Ahvaz to Shiraz) resembles the royal tombs at Naqš-i Rustam and Persepolis: the lower part is a straight wall and the central part resembles the façade of a palace. What is different, is the upper part. On the royal tombs, the king, Ahuramazda, and the sacred fire are depicted (example: detail from the tomb of Artaxerxes III Ochus at Persepolis); at Kupan, we can see a narrow band decorated with merlons that resemble those along the eastern stairs of the Apadana in Persepolis. 

Kupan rock tomb
Kupan rock tomb
The person who was buried here, along the Royal Road from Susa to Persepolis, must have been very important, and may have been a member of the Achaemenid royal family. The site itself, which may or may not be identical to the Brthatka mentioned in the Persepolis fortification tablets, offers no clues. The idea that it was built by Parysatis, wife of king Darius II Nothus and mother of Artaxerxes II Mnemon, for her son Cyrus the Younger, is attractive, but essentially just a hypothesis. Some scholars regard the tomb as belonging to pre-Achaemenid times, and believe it was the final resting place of a local prince, perhaps Cyrus of Anšan. However, again, there is no evidence.

The two photos were kindly given to me by professor Abuzar Hemati of the University of Yasuj.

This page was created in 2007; last modified on 14 September 2014.