Construction Phases of Persepolis c. 500–440 BCE


Map Code: Ax00470

Darius I began the construction of Persepolis, the new capital of the Achmaenid Empire, towards the end of the 6th century BCE. He laid down the lineaments of power; the Apadana, or grand throne room with accompanying antechambers, and a propylaea, or gateway building, together with the Treasury. A small palace was also appended to the Apadana and a sophisticated drainage system constructed. Darius’ s successor, Xerxes I, added a much grander palace complete with a Queen’s palace and living, storage or prayer quarters. The next king, Artaxerxes I, added a second throne room, the hall of a hundred columns, a further gateway building, and stables. While Persepolis was a grand retreat, and diplomatic reception facility, the true business of government of the vast empire took place in the larger cities of Susa, Ecbatana and Babylon. Intermittent work continued on Persepolis until it was captured and fired by Alexander the Great.

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