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  21/2/2015

The ancient capitals of Iran-HAMADAN


During our ancient history and different dynasties in Iran that ruling the country the capital of Iran was constantly changing. Some emperors changed the capital, depending on the time of year, others - for security reasons, and some - depending on the economic significance of a city. We suggest you start your acquaintance about Iran with its capitals.

Susa. The modern Iranian city of Susa (Shush) is now located on the site of the ancient Biblical city of Susa. This is one of the oldest well known settlements in the world. The foundation of a settlement here occurred as early as the 4th millennium BC, although the archeologists have dated the first traces of an inhabited Neolithic village to 7000 BC.

Initially, the city was the residence of the Elamite and then the Persian kings of Achaemenid dynasty. The numerous excavations that took place on this site have proven the existence of a more ancient civilization (before Elam). Though not much is known about the people who inhabited this area before Elam, but it can be said that they had their own writing, which unfortunately has not yet been deciphered.

Chogha-Zanbil is one of the few settlements as a ziggurat belongs to Elam period that has remained up to nowadays. It has a unique structure and probably the only one in its category of ancient building as a skyscraper.  

The archaeological site includes the ruins in Darius I palace an Achaemenid king that were destroyed by Alexander the Great and more with western treasury finders but in the name of science.

Another   ancient site that is not far from Sush is Shushtar, which is famous for its water mills, preserved since the Sassanian dynasty, is located close to Susa.

Hamadan (Ecbatan) is one of the most ancient settlements in Iran. It was founded 3000 years BC, but the first mentioning of Hamadan appears in texts only 2000 years later, when it was ruled by the Assyrians. After that Herodotus mentioned its name in his writings as Median Empire capital.

Hamedan lay on the Silk Road and even in recent centuries the city enjoyed strong commerce and trade as a result of its location on the main road network.

Its great historic past attracts lots of tourists to this ancient city.  Hamedan also is particularly famous for the worldwide known mausoleum of the scientist and writer Avicenna[1]  (Abu Ali Sina), who died and was buried here with full honors. For foreign tourists an ancient inscription named Ganj Nameh is an interesting monument preserved from Achaemenian era. The inscription, which has been carved in granite, describes the lineage and deeds of Darius I.

City of Hamedan is also mentioned in the Bible , in the Book of Esther as the capital of Ancient Persia in the days of King Ahasuerus . It was then known as Shushan. Hence a  famous mysterious and religious attraction in Hamadan is the Tomb of Mordecai and Esther,  widely believed to house the remains of the biblical Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, this place is the most important pilgrimage site for Jews in the country .

Ali Sadr Cave near Hamadan is the world's biggest water cave. According to the experts its appearance refers to the Mesozoic era (136-190 million years ago). Corridors and passageways in the cave were formed as a result of landslides, mudslides and earthquakes. It is believed that the cave was first discovered during the reign of the Safavid dynasty. However, excavations and archeological studies have led to the discovery of ancient artworks. These facts suggest primitive men used the cave as their abode.

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