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Susa: Tomb of Daniel


Mausoleum of Daniel, seen from the Acropolis of the ancient city. Photo Jona Lendering.
Mausoleum of Daniel, seen from the Acropolis of the ancient city.
Susa (Elamitic, Babylonian: Šušim; Greek τὰ Σοῦσα): capital of Elam, favorite residence of the Persian king Darius I the Great.
 
 
History Photos
 
Susa is mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Esther, and it is possible to walk through the remains of the ancient palace and see the locations of this Biblical story. Esther is said to be buried in modern Hamadan. Still, there is a Biblical prophet buried in Susa: the conical building on the first photo belongs to the mausoleum of Daniel.
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine
Tomb of Daniel. Photo Marco Prins.
Tomb of Daniel

During the Sasanian age, the city had had a large Christian community, who in the seventh century offered resistance against the Arab invaders. Nevertheless, the city was captured. While they were sacking the town, they discovered a mummy that was buried with a seal of a man standing between two lions, which was immediately taken to be a reference to the Biblical prophet Daniel. Although Caliph Umar ordered its destruction - Daniel is not mentioned in the Quran - the conquerors decided to venerate Daniel in Susa.

We visited the sacred place in the week before the festival of mourning that is called Ashura. The black cloth that covers the tomb commemorates the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.

A satellite photo can be seen here.


History Photos
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2004
Revision: 20 July 2009
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