Apadana Castle Shush, Shush

Historic Site · Tourist Spot
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  • The major feature visible is the excavated ruins of the Apadana of Darius I. Sadly, only column bases and protected mud-brick walls survive of the palace, although some broken architectural fragments....  more »
  • The Apadana Palace of Shush was the winter palace of the Achaemenid Kings and the main palace of Darius I. This palace was built on the orders of the great Achaemenid king of the years 515_521 BC in.....  more »
  • You could see remains of a castle. Winter is the best time for a visit.
  • Susa (also called Shushan, Greek Susiane), was one of the city-states of ancient Elam which later became the winter capital of the Persian Achaemenian kings (c. 675 - 330 BCE). There is evidence that Susa has been continuously inhabited from 4,200 BCE placing it among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In addition, there are traces at Susa of a village inhabited around 7,000 BCE and painted pottery dating from ca. 5,000 BCE at the site. The Susa historical site is located in the Susiana Plain that is irrigated by the Karkheh Kur (Choaspes), Ab-i Dez and Karun rivers, The Karkheh and Karun rivers form the western and eastern (together with the Zagros mountains) boundaries of the plain. Today, the site is surrounded by the modern-day Shush, a town in the south-west Iranian province of Khuzestan. The archaeological site includes the ruins of the Achaemenian palace complex of Darius I, the Great, and is located on a fifteen metre high artificial raised 100-hectare terrace. It has suffered greatly in the past seventy years. The photographs below show the reckless spread of urbanization close to the main citadel and over unexcavated area immediately surrounding the mound. In addition, the site is being greatly harmed by illegal excavations, garbage dumping, a planned bus depot, and a hotel on unexcavated land. The surviving walls have been greatly eroded. To add to this tragedy, the site was also heavily damaged by Iraqi bombardment during the first Gulf War. Aerial view of Susa (looking north) and taken October 23, 1935. Also see University of Chicago archives Aerial view of Susa (looking north) and taken October 23, 1935. The Saimarrah River is to the left of the mound and flows beside the 'tomb of Daniel' (with a pointed roof) Also see University of Chicago archives Modern day (2009) aerial view of SusaNote the sprawling urbanization around the site Modern day (2009) aerial view of Susa Note the sprawling urbanization around the site, the reckless building over & close to the site as well as the considerable erosion of the walls. Courtesy Google Earth Susa became part of the Persian empire under Cyrus II, the Great in 538 or 539 BCE. During the balance of Achaemenian period (to 330 BCE), Susa functioned as one of the rotating capitals (a winter capital) of the Achaemenian Kings. Darius I, the Great, built an extensive palace complex (see image below) ca. 510 BCE, and Herodotus mentions Susa as being the capital of Darius' empire (Herodotus does not make any mention Persepolis being a Persian capital). The palace complex - whose building continued under Darius' son Xerxes - was destroyed by a fire during the reign of Artaxerxes I (465-424 BCE) and then restored fifty years later by his grandson, Artaxerxes II (404-358 BCE). Alexander of Macedonia captured Susa in December 330 BCE and plundered the city, seizing some 40,000 talents of gold and silver from the treasury. Source: Ridpath's History of the World by John Ridpath. 1901 Reconstruction of the Apadana (Audience Hall) at Susa Reconstruction of the Apadana (Audience Hall) at Susa Note stone capitals at the top of the wooden columns (see below) In Darius' inscription (Dsf) found in Susa's great hall, he notes: "The materials, ornamentation and artisans for this palace which I built at Susa have come from afar. "For its foundations, the earth was dug until I reached rock. When the excavation was complete, foundation rock was packed down some 40 cubits to 20 cubits in depth. On that foundation the palace was constructed using sun-dried brick. These tasks were performed by Babylonians. "The cedar timber was brought by the Assyrians to Babylon from a mountain in Lebanon. From Babylon, the Carians and Ionians brought it to Susa. The yaka-timber was brought from Kandahar (Gandara) and Kerman (Carmania).

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