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Pasargod (2004)

Pasargod was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century B.C. Its palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization. Particularly noteworthy vestiges in the 160-ha site include: the Mausoleum of Cyrus II; Tall-e Takht, a fortified terrace; and a royal ensemble of gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace and gardens. Pasargod was the capital of the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River, it is considered to be the first empire that respected the cultural diversity of its different peoples. This was reflected in Achaemenid architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.

Brief Synthesis: Founded in the 6th century B.C. in the heartland of the Persians (today the province of Fars in southwestern Iran), Pasargod was the earliest capital of the Achaemenid (First Persian) Empire. The city was created by Cyrus the Great with contributions from the different peoples who comprised the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. The archaeological remains of its palaces and garden layout as well as the tomb of Cyrus constitute an outstanding example of the first phase of the evolution of royal Achaemenid art and architecture, and an exceptional testimony to the Achaemenid civilisation in Persia. The “Four Gardens” type of royal ensemble, which was created in Pasargod, became a prototype for Western Asian architecture and design.

The 160-ha archaeological site of Pasargod presents some of the earliest manifestations of Persian art and architecture. It includes, among other monuments, the compact limestone tomb on the Morgab plain that once held Cyrus the Great’s gilded sarcophagus; Tall-e Takht (“Solomon’s Throne”), a great fortified platform built on a hill and later incorporated into a sprawling citadel with substantial mud-brick defences; and the royal ensemble, which consists of several palaces originally located within a garden layout (the so-called “Four Gardens”). Pasargod became a prototype for the Persian Garden concept of four quadrants formally divided by waterways or pathways, its architecture characterised by refined details and slender verticality.

Pasargod stands as an exceptional witness to the Achaemenid civilisation. The vast Achaemenid Empire, which extended from the eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River in India, is considered the first empire to be characterised by a respect for the cultural diversity of its peoples. This respect was reflected in the royal Achaemenid architecture, which became a synthesized representation of the empire’s different cultures. Pasargod represents the first phase of this development into a specifically Persian architecture which later found its full expression in the city of Persepolis.

Criterion (i): Pasargod is the first outstanding expression of the royal Achaemenid architecture.

Criterion (ii): The dynastic capital of Pasargod was built by Cyrus the Great with a contribution by different peoples of the empire created by him. It became a fundamental phase in the evolution of the classic Persian art and architecture.

Criterion (iii): The archaeological site of Pasargod, with its palaces, gardens, and the tomb of the founder of the dynasty, Cyrus the Great, represents an exceptional testimony to the Achaemenid civilisation in Persia.

Criterion (iv): The “Four Gardens” type of royal ensemble which was created in Pasargod, became a prototype for Western Asian architecture and design.

Refrence(s):

UNESCO: Iran (Islamic Republic of). Available From:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/IR/

 

 

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