Historical Places of Susa
"By The grace of Ahura Mazda, I constructed a
magnificent palace Susa"
Thus spake Darius The Great in 521 BC following the
construction of the Apadana Palace, his administrative capital at Susa.
Susa( Soo sah) also called Shoush, was once the
capital of the ancient Kingdome of Ilam and the Persian Empire. The partly
uncovered ruins of this city lie in the province of Khouzestan, in southeastern
Susa appears several times in the Bible, where it is
The Old Testament story of Esther took place in Susa.
The tomb of Daniel is said to be in Susa.
Archaeologists unearthed the famous " Code of
Hammurabi " which is a group of Babylonian laws, in the ruins of Susa in 1901
Susa flourished until about 640 BC., when Assyrians
plundered it. Darius I built palaces in the city in the late 500's BC., and
made it a capital of the Persian Empire. Susa declined after Alexander the Great
conquered it in the late 300 BC.
According to archaeologists, Susa is 5000 years old.
The authenticity of the age of this ancient city, verified by the ancient hills
and excavations there are beyond doubts. These ancient hills covering an area of
400 hectares are divided into four sections: Acropolis, Apadana, Royal town and
A – Acropolis, originally a Greek word,
refers to the highest part of the hill where the town is built. The most
ancient civilization discovered here belongs to the end of 5th
The tablet of the first ever legislator on the
earth, Hamourabi, and that of Aked's King Narramssin were discovered during
excavation in Susa.
Shoutrok Nakhonteh, one of the 13th
century B.C. kings of Ilam, brought both tablets to this city .
For the first time in history, archaeologist
discovered drawings (used instead of Words) of Ilam in this city. The statue of
queen Napirasso wife of "Ontash Gaul" founder of Ziggurat Chagha Zanbil, was
French archaeologists headed by Jaque De Morgan,
during excavations in 1879 utilized the excavated construction materials taken
from the ruins of Ilam temples in Susa, Apadana Palace of the Achaemenidae, the
Parthian's and Arsacides' buildings, and Sassnides and those of the Islamic era,
to build a castle there in order to store the antiquities and preserve the
excavations. The architecture was influenced by that of Europe's middle ages.
B - Apadana is the name of palace built on
Apadana hill by Darius the Great of achaemenian Dynasty in 525 B.C. This
magnificent palace caught fire during the reign of "Ardeshir I" in 461 B.C, and
was reconstructed during the reign of " Ardeshir II " ( 404 - 359 B.C. ). It was
again ruined when Alexander invaded Persia and most of its construction material
were used elsewhere. Also, during World War II the invaders, to construct roads
and bridges, used whatever remained of that material. The stone statue of
Darius was found among the ruins of this palace.
C - The Royal Town of 7,000 sqm., was the
residential quarters of court people and business-men during Achaemenid era .
D - The Business Town
The present city of Shoush : This town is located in
Khozestan Province on the northwestern side of Ahwas and the main Ahwaz-Dezful
highway runs through this city ( 110 km distant from Ahwaz and 40 km from
Dezful ) . The temperature of this hot and dry city reaches to 53 degrees
Centigrade in summer and drops to plus one degree in winter.
Chogha Zanbil is situated in southwest Iran about 40
Kms southeast of ancient city of Susa. It was built on a plateau above the bank
of river Dez. Its ancient name is Dur-Untash, which means the castle of the
city of Untash. In 13th century BC. King Untash Napirisha founded an
entirely new city. Its size and splendor was intended to honore of Gods and to
manifest the power of King Untash Napirisha . At the center of the city a
Ziggurat (Temple tower) was built, of which two floors still exist.
It was surrounded by a wall, which is the inner wall
of three concentric walls in Dur Untash. Between the inner wall and middle wall
several temples belonging to different Elamites divinities were built. The outer
city wall was 4 Kms long enclosing an area of approximately 100 Hectares. The
royal quarter was situated adjacent to a major city gate some 450 meters east of
the Ziggurat. In this area a group of three major buildings with large courts
surrounded by lengthy hall and rooms were excavated. Beneath one of these
buildings (Palace I) five underground tombs were found similar to those of Haft-Tappah.
The tombs in Chogha Zanbil however were of a much
more monumental dimensions.
The building materials in Chogh Zanbil are mainly
mud bricks and occasionally baked bricks. The monuments were well built and
beautifully decorated with glazed baked bricks, gypsum, ornaments of faience and
glass. Thousands of baked bricks bearing inscriptions with Elamite cuneiform
characters were all inscribed by hand, ornamenting the most important buildings.
Glazed terracotta statues such as bulls and winged griffins guarded the entrance
of the Ziggurat. Near the temples of Kirrisha and Hishmitik kilns were found
that probably were used for the production of baked bricks and decoration
materials. The Ziggurat was built in two stages and in the second phase took its
Beyond Babylonia and Assyria this is the only
preserved Ziggurat. It was obviously constructed according to the models of the
Mesopotamian culture. There is scarce information about the actions during the
divine service. However, it is known that the Elimites were religious and held
regular divine services. Some reliefs give us a glimpse about how these might
have been carried out.
Roman Ghirshman excavated most of Ziggurat and the
vast surrounding area from 1951-1962. He excavated the temples, palaces, tombs
and three concentric walls of the site and gates.
After the excavations most of the monuments were
exposed to erosion. Due to rainfalls, water penetrates into the structure of the
building, accelerating the deterioration processes. During last few years the
monuments have been taken by The Cultural Heritage Organization to protect the
Zigurrat from further erosion.
The castle of Susa (acropolis)
(Translated by: Reza Tamimi)
Zhan marri zhak du moregan the man from France for
investigation and detection came to Susa city in 1897 AD and because of inhabit
him and his workmates and too for keeping ancient things started the structure
of the castle of Susa city. For making the castle, considered the highest point
of Susa hills and it made like the castles of Middle Ages. This castle
constructed from bricks and available ancient bricks remained from different
periods around Susa city and it finished in 1912 AD. Now this castle is as a
center of keeping and investigating of ancient things.
The palace of Shaour
This palace is in west of Shaour River and because
it is close this river, it called the palace of Shaour. And in fact it belonged
to Ardeshir2 Hakhamaneshi. The main hall of this palace consists of 64 columns
and it constructed from stones like the style of hakhamaneshi architecture.
Daniel's shrine (the prophet of Israel tribe)
Daniel Al Nabi about in 7th century with the
Jewish captivated by the soldiers of Babylon and they have interred to
Mesopotamia and then to Susa city. He was one of the prophets who had a sacred
book from Israel tribe. It mentioned in storied that he had met with "Nebo ked"
the king of Babylon.
Daniel's shrine is near of Shaour River and it
witnesses many pilgrims from throughout world every years.