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THE ANCIENT PERSIA (IRAN)

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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:58 am

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle (in Persian: قلعه فلاک الافلاک‎), in ancient times was known as Dežbār as well as Shāpūr-Khwāst, is one of the most impressive castles in Iran. It is situated on the top of a large hill with the same name within the city of Khorramabad, the regional capital of Lorestan province. This gigantic structure was built during the Sassanid era (226–651).

The Khoramabad River runs past the eastern and south-western side of the Falak-ol-Aflak hill providing the fortress with an element of natural protection. Today, the western and northern sides of the hill are bordered by the residential districts of Khorramabad.


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History
Falak ol-Aflak castle is amongst the most important structures built during the Sassanid era. It has been known by a number of names since it was built over 1800 years ago. Recorded names have referred to it as Shapur-Khast or Sabr-Khast fortress, Dezbaz, Khoramabad castle, and ultimately the Falak ol-Aflak Castle.

During the Pahlavi Dynasty it was used as a prison

Architectural Layout
The foundations of the actual castle measure approximately 300 meters by 400 meters. The height of the entire structure, including the hill, reaches to 40 meters above the surrounding area.

The castle itself covers an area of 5,300 square meters. It is 2,860 meters in perimeter and its tallest wall is 22.5 meters high. This space is divided into four large halls, and their associated rooms and coridors. The rooms all surround two courtyards with the following measurements: the first courtyard measures 31x22.50m and the second 29x21 meters. When originally built the castle used to have 12 towers, but only 8 remain standing today.

The building's entrace is situated towards the north, within the body of the northwestern tower.

The water well of the fortress lies in the area behind the first courtyard. Reaching a depth of 40 meters, the majority of the well's shaft is carved into the rock in order to reach the source of the Golestan spring. The well remains usable to this day.

The materials used in the construction of the fortress are mud-bricks, mud-fired bricks, stone, wood, and mortar.




Surrounding structures
Archeological studies have identified the existence of a two layered rampart with twelve towers around the present day construction. This surrounding rampart mainly stretched westward. From the twelve original towers, only two remain and these are situated northwest and southwest of the existing fortress.



Dehumidifier
Falak ol-Aflak Castle appears to have been built with a dehumidifier system which is one of the wonders of the ancient world.[citation needed]


Previously, the experts believed these dehumidifier canals with a height of more than 1 meter covering all the area beneath the castle were hide-outs for the residents. But in reality, due to being aware of the changing climate in the region and the underground waters, the Sassanid engineers have equipped the castle with a dehumidifier.


Falak ol-Aflak castle is made with different materials like stone and wood that are so vulnerable to humidity. That’s why the castle was built on the highest point of the city of Khoram-abad, so that the wind could penetrate the building and dry its foundations.

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Postby Efantastic » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:06 am

WOW WOW WOW....wonderful

thank you>>>> I hope to visit Iran >>>
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Postby PAARSE » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:59 am

Susa


Susa (Biblical Shushan; also Greek: Σέλεύχεια, transliterated as Seleukeia or Seleukheia; Latin Seleucia ad Eulaeum; modern Shush, coordinates: 32.18922° N 48.25778° E) was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran, located about 150 miles east of the Tigris River in Khuzestan province of Iran. As well as being an archaeological site, Susa is also a lively village due to the devotion of Shi'a Muslims and the Persian Jewish community for the prophet Daniel.

Susa is one of the oldest-known settlements of the region, probably founded about 4000 BCE; though the first traces of an inhabited village date back to 7000 BCE. Evidence of a painted- pottery civilization dates back to 5000 BCE. In historic times, Susa was the capital of the Elamite Empire. Its name originates from their language; it was written variously (Šušan, Šušun etc.) and was apparently pronounced Šušən. Šušan was invaded by both Babylonian Empires as well as the Assyrian Empire in violent campaigns. After the Babylonian conquest, the name was misunderstood to be connected with the Semitic word Šušan, "lily."

Susa is mentioned in the Ketuvim of the Hebrew Bible, mainly in Esther but also once each in Nehemiah and Daniel. Both Daniel and Nehemiah lived in Susa during the Babylonian captivity of Judah of the 6th century BCE. Esther became queen there, and saved the Jews from genocide. A tomb presumed to be that of Daniel is located in the area, known as Shush-Daniel. The tomb is marked by an unusual white, stone cone, which is neither regular nor symmetric.



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A tablet unearthed in 1854 by Henry Austin Layard in Nineveh reveals Ashurbanipal as an "avenger", seeking retribution for the humiliations the Elamites had inflicted on the Mesopotamians over the centuries:

"Susa, the great holy city, abode of their Gods, seat of their mysteries, I conquered. I entered its palaces, I opened their treasuries where silver and gold, goods and wealth were amassed...I destroyed the ziggurat of Susa. I smashed its shining copper horns. I reduced the temples of Elam to naught; their gods and goddesses I scattered to the winds. The tombs of their ancient and recent kings I devastated, I exposed to the sun, and I carried away their bones toward the land of Ashur. I devastated the provinces of Elam and on their lands I sowed salt."[2]


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The city was taken by the Achaemenid Persians under Cyrus the Great in 538 BCE. Under Cyrus' son Cambyses II, the capital of the empire moved from Pasargadae to Susa.


centuriesThe city lost some of its importance when Alexander of Macedon conquered it in 331 BCE and destroyed the first Persian Empire, but after Alexander's vast empire collapsed upon his death, Susa became one of the two capitals (along with Ctesiphon) of Parthia. Susa fell to the Seleucid Empire during which it was renamed Seleukeia. Susa became a frequent place of refuge for Parthian and later, the Persian Sassanid kings, as the Romans sacked Ctesiphon five different times between 116 and 297 CE. Typically, the Parthian rulers wintered in Susa, and spent the summer in Ctesiphon.

The Roman emperor Trajan captured Susa in 116 CE, but soon was forced to withdraw, due to revolts in his rear areas. This advance marked the greatest eastern penetration by the Romans.

Susa was destroyed at least twice in its history. In 647 BCE, the Assyrian king Assurbanipal leveled the city during the course of a war in which the people of Susa apparently participated on the other side. The second destruction of Susa took place in 638 CE, when the Muslim armies first conquered Persia. Finally, in [1218] CE, the city was completely destroyed


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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:39 am

Taq-e Kasra


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Ctesiphon
The Sasanian Capital City


The large round city , situated on the left bank of the Tigris, across the river from the Hellenistic city of Seleucia, has been identified as the great Parthian and Sasanian capital city of Tisfun, known to the Romans as Ctesiphon , the Al-Madain (“the cities”), of Arabic sources. Situated about 35 km south of the later city of Baghdad, in present-day Iraq, Ctesipon was the first Sasanian foundation in this urban zone, named Veh-Ardashir, “the beautiful (good) city of Ardashir,” after its founder, the Sasanian king Ardashir I (AD 224-241). Ctesipon was the royal residence, imperial and administrative center, and a commercial and agricultural hub of the empire in the densely populated Sasanian province of Babylonia/Asoristan. Although Ctesiphon served only as a winter residence for Sasanian kings who spent summers in the cooler highlands of the Persian plateau, it remained the capital and coronation city of the Sasanian empire from its foundation by Ardashir I until its conquest by Arab armies in AD 637.
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Postby PAARSE » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:45 am

The Sasanian Empire

The Sasanian empire (AD 224-642) was the creation of the last great Iranian monarchy before the Arab conquest of Western Asia in the seventh century. The Sasanians are best remembered for their distinctive cultural expressions and for the longevity of their more than four centuries of rule. The Sasanian age was a dynamic time of cultural and economic revival when a new Persian ruling house in southwestern Iran, like the Achaemenid Persians of a thousand years before, extended its dominion over much of Western and Central Asia, in territories that stretched from Transcaucasia to the Indus. The Sasanian age was also a time of intensified trade and exchange, when Iran served as a major gateway to the transcontinental Silk Road that linked the West with China and the Far East.

The Sasanians came into power when Ardashir I, a provincial ruler of Persis, in the Iranian heartland of present-day Fars province, defeated his Parthian overlord, to become the ruler of a new dynasty in Western Asia named after an ancestral figure. By the mid third century, ambitious Sasanian kings extended Persian power across almost 2,000 miles, from the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, and from Syria's Mediterranean shore to Afghanistan.

A principal achievement of the Sasanian dynasty is its replacement of feudal leadership with centralized authority, topped by the king. Sasanian Iran, which remained a highly centralized state for over 400 years, forged a fusion of the offices of church and state, of religious authority and secular rule. As head of state, the dynasty's founder Ardashir (224-241), a descendant of the Zoroastrian priesthood of Fars, also assumed guardianship of the sacred fire, the symbol of the national religion. This symbol is explicit on Sasanian coins where the reigning monarch, with his crown and regalia of office, appears on the obverse, backed by the sacred fire, the symbol of the national religion, on the coin's reverse.

The search for meaning in Sasanian art requires consideration of that art's function, of the ways art is used in Sasanian society. It is the values of the Sasanian elite that inspire Sasanian decorative arts such as engraved gem or sealstone. This widespread and ubiquitous cultural relic was a portable, functional and often highly valued article, produced for special purposes such as the fulfillment of contracts and for commercial exchange. Archaeological evidence of the use of the Sasanian seal is preserved in ancient clay impressions found on documents. Intended as contracts or for the purposes of trade and exchange, documents were tagged with wet lumps of clay impressed with seals as vouchers. The seal was originally attached to strings that once wrapped the letter or perhaps the covered goods. The clay seal impression was to be broken and discarded only at the time of the use of the sealed article.
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Postby fortminor » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:56 pm

Thanks PAARSE for sharing these nice information. :)
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Postby babara » Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:59 am

fortminor wrote:Thanks PAARSE for sharing these nice information. :)


Yes,nice information.

Your new avatar is so beautiful,Fortminor!! :P
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Postby fortminor » Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:50 am

babara wrote:Yes,nice information.
Your new avatar is so beautiful,Fortminor!! :P


Thanks babara,beauty is in the eyes of beholder! :wink:
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Postby Dexter » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:08 am

fortminor wrote:Thanks PAARSE for sharing these nice information. :)

yeah... thanks PAARSE :)
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Postby PAARSE » Sat Feb 03, 2007 3:54 pm

You're welcome , my dear friends...

I'll try to add more.
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