Dukkan-e Daud


Dukkan-e Daud ("David's shop"): modern name of a late-Achaemenid rock tomb with a small relief of a Zoroastrian priest.

The tomb of Dukkan-e Daud
The tomb of Dukkan-e Daud

Few Iranian monuments will be cared for so much as the small rock relief, twelve meter above the ground, that is known as Dukkan-e Daud, "David's Shop", because the local population believes that the ancient monument represents King David (Daud).

There may indeed have been a King David in this area: there are stories about a Jewish smith who gathered several disciples and may or may not have been buried in the ancient Achaemenid tomb. This Medieval story is more plausible than the legend about the Biblical king.

However that may be, many people from the neighborhood have preferred to be buried below the rock, close to this King David. Local women continue to present their babies to the ancient tomb, which is decorated with several green flags and torches.

A magian on the tomb of Dukkan-e Daud
A magian on the tomb of Dukkan-e Daud

The monument itself is comparable to the tomb at Kupan, although it is much simpler. There is a simple relief of a Magian or a Zoroastrian priest on it; he is shown with a barsom in his hand. The relief appears to be unfinished and it may be that a fire altar was part of the original design. Similar figures can be found in Sakavand and Naqš-e Rustam.


David’s Shop is about three kilometers east of Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, a bit south of the main road from Qasr-e Shirin to Kermanshah. The relief is included as #18 in Louis Vanden Berghe's Reliefs rupestres de l’Iran ancien (1984).

This page was created in 2009; last modified on 12 October 2020.