Persepolis, Unfinished Gate

Persepolis (Old Persian Pârsa, modern Takht-e Jamshid): Greek name of one of the capitals of the ancient Achaemenid Empire, founded by king Darius the Great (r.522-486 BCE). There were several satellite sites, Naqš-e Rustam and Takht-e Rustam.

Construction of the Unfinished Gate of Persepolis (map 11) was probably started by king Artaxerxes III Ochus (r.358-338), and ought to have been continued by his successors Artaxerxes IV Arses (r.338-336) and Darius III Codomannus (r.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.

If it had been completed, visitors would have entered Persepolis through the Gate of All Nations, proceeded through the Army road, passed 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 bulls in the south.