Although Persepolis is one of Iran’s top archeological and tourist sites, I was careful to keep my expectations in check before visiting. After all, what would remain of the 2,500 year-old capital of the Achaemenid Empire? Amidst crumbled columns, I found great detail that blew me away and a surprising connection to the present.
When I first entered Persepolis through the Gate of All Nations, I was struck by the scale of it all – the statues, the columns, the great stone. I tried to imagine the process of transporting the raw materials to this place, constructing the city and palace, and fashioning it all without the mechanical means we have today.
The Gate of All Nations.
But more than this, I was struck by Persepolis’ detailed carvings and the stories they told. In them, I felt like I really began to understand the greatness of ancient Persia.
And I also got the sense that ancient Persians were onto something in pursuit of an ideal that still eludes us today. Continue Reading »