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Tomb of Cyrus the Great.

Posted by
Expose (Tehran, Iran) on 13 June 2009 in Architecture and Portfolio.

Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Pasargad, Shiraz-Iran.

Equipment: Canon 40D, Canon 16-35mm f2.8
Setting : S: 1190 Second / A: f4.0 / ISO 200 / F: 22mm / WB: Tungsten

Site and History:

The first capital of the Achaemenid Empire, Pasargadae, lies in ruins 43 kilometers from Persepolis, in present-day Fars province of Iran. The construction of the capital city by Cyrus the Great, begun in 546 BCE or later, was left unfinished, for Cyrus died in battle in 530 BCE or 529 BCE. The tomb of Cyrus' son and successor, Cambyses II, also has been found in Pasargadae. The remains of his tomb, located near the fortress of Toll-e Takht, were identified in 2006.

Pasargadae remained the Persian capital until Darius founded another in Persepolis. The modern name comes from the Greek, but may derive from the old Greek used during Achaemenid times, Pâthragâda, meaning the garden of Persians which itself is derived from the original Persian, Pârs Gâdeh meaning town of Persians. Contemporary Elamite cuneiform renders the name as Batrakataš.

The archaeological site covers 1.6 square kilometres and includes a structure commonly believed to be the mausoleum of Cyrus, the fortress of Toll-e Takht sitting on top of a nearby hill, and the remains of two royal palaces and gardens. The gardens provide the earliest known example of the Persian chahar bagh, or four-fold garden design.

Latest research on Pasargadae’s structural engineering has shown the Achaemenid engineers constructed the city to withstand a severe earthquake, at what would today be classified as a '7.0' on the Richter magnitude scale. The foundations are today classified as having a base isolation design, much the same as what is presently used in countries for the construction of facilities - such as nuclear power plants - that require insulation from the effects of a seismic activity.

The most important monument in Pasargadae is the tomb of Cyrus the Great. It has six broad steps leading to the sepulchre, the chamber of which measures 3.17 m long by 2.11 m wide by 2.11 m high, and has a low and narrow entrance. Though there is no firm evidence identifying the tomb as that of Cyrus, Greek historians tell us that Alexander III of Macedon believed it was so. When Alexander looted and destroyed Persepolis, he paid a visit to the tomb of Cyrus. Arrian, writing in the second century of the common era, recorded that Alexander commanded Aristobulus, one of his warriors, to enter the monument. Inside he found a golden bed, a table set with drinking vessels, a gold coffin, some ornaments studded with precious stones and an inscription of the tomb. No trace of any such inscription survives to modern times, and there is considerable disagreement to the exact wording of the text. Strabo reports that it read:

Passer-by, I am Cyrus, who gave the Persians an empire, and was king of Asia.
Grudge me not therefore this monument.

Another variation, as documented in Persia: The Immortal Kingdom, is:

O man, whoever thou art, from wheresoever thou cometh, for I know you shall come, I am Cyrus, who founded the empire of the Persians.
Grudge me not, therefore, this little earth that covers my body.

The design of Cyrus' Tomb is credited alternatively to Mesopotamian or Elamite ziggurats, but the cella is usually attributed to Urartu tombs of an earlier period. In particular, the tomb at Pasargadae has almost exactly the same dimensions as the tomb of Alyattes II, father of the Lydian King Croesus; however, some have refused the claim (according to Herodotus, Croesus was spared by Cyrus during the conquest of Lydia, and became a member of Cyrus' court). The main decoration on the tomb is a rosette design over the door within the gable.In general, the art and architecture found at Pasargadae exemplified the Persian synthesis of various traditions, drawing on precedents from Elam, Babylon, Assyria, and ancient Egypt, with the addition of some Anatolian influences.

During the Islamic conquest of Iran, the Arab armies came upon the tomb and planned to destroy it, considering it to be in direct violation of the tenets of Islam. The caretakers of the grave managed to convince the Arab command that the tomb was not built to honor Cyrus, but instead housed the mother of King Solomon, thus sparing it from destruction. As a result, the inscription in the tomb was replaced by a verse of the Qur'an, and the tomb became known as "Qabr-e Madar-e Sulaiman," or the tomb of the mother of Solomon. It is still widely known by that name today.

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amirreza from tehran, Iran

بسیار زیبا

13 Jun 2009 7:42am

Vahid from Delft, Netherlands

Great. Nice comp and long exposure.

13 Jun 2009 11:44am

Onlymehdi from Wayne, United States

WOWWW, zibba

14 Jun 2009 1:19am

Tracey from Maryland, United States

Fantastic long exposure! I love how you are taking the unusual shots of these famous places. Well done!

16 Jun 2009 2:43pm

Alireza from Iran

agha che kardi, hanooz axi az inja be in zibaee nadidam

17 Jun 2009 10:50am

Stewart Bywater from Peterborough, United Kingdom

Wow. That's a fantastic shot!! Congratulations. Was it just one exposure, and if so, please could you tell me the shutter speed? Kind regards, Stewart

6 Sep 2009 11:49am

@Stewart Bywater: Setting : S: 1190 Second / A: f4.0 / ISO 200 / F: 22mm / WB: Tungsten

photos sur toile from Paris, France

Great Photo, I love this type of nightlife photos with long exposures, it still requires to be familiar with their equipment shooting, it's very successful, bravo.

27 Jul 2011 11:41am

omid from mashhad, Iran

شگفت انگیزه
ثبت خیلی خیلی قشنگ و خوبیه
و چه جای خوبی رو برای چنین ثبتی انتخاب کرده اید

3 Dec 2012 11:05am