Bisotun

Also known as: Behistun Inscription, Bisotun Archaeological Site

Bisotun is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes over a dozen ancient works from inscriptions written in the Achamaed era to ruins of a fire temple belonging to the Sassanid dynasty. The youngest monument in the ancient complex is the caravanserai dating back to the Safavid era.

 

Legacy of Alexander the Great


The first thing that grabs the attention of visitors is the statue of Hercules on the back of a lion, hewn out of a massive rock in the mountain. The mid-2nd century BC sculpture is believed to have been built during the era the successors of Alexander the Great ruled in Iran.

 

Ancient Inscription


The most important monument in Bisotun is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription which is believed to have been created in the 5th century BC. Achaemenid king Darius the Great order his men to create the monument. The bas-relief portrays the king's victory, showing him with his main enemy at his feet and nine rebel governors enchained. The inscription has been written in three cuneiform languages including Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian and tells the story of Darius' battles. The visitors are highly recommended to bring binoculars or a good zoom lens to see the carvings in detail.

 

Too Much to See!


There are over a dozen other ancient sites in the 116 hectare ancient complex including hunters' cave, Median fortress, Median temple and Safavid caravanserai. The visit at first sounds like a breathtaking ordeal which starts with climbing the rocky mountain, but don't worry! You are met with exquisite greenery at the foot of the mountain, with a beautiful lake in the middle, an ideal place for relaxation and having some refreshment!

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