The glory of Persia is always known with Achamanids, from 6th century B.C to the 4th century B.C. In fact, the history of Iran is known to be began by them, however civilization in Iran at least refers to 7000 years ago. Their architecture is a combination of different styles, but is considered as a unique style. One of the most significant parts of their architecture, is the Achamanid tombs in Necropolis and Persepolis.
The first advent of Achamanid tombs dates back to the 6th century B.C. The Achamanid emperor, Darius the 1st, ordered to build a tomb for himself, simultaneously with the constructions of his places in Persepolis and Susa. Darius was the restorative of Achamanid Dynasty. He took the power after fighting in a civil war against rebellions, changed the Dynasty capital from Pasargadae to persepolis and built one of the most beautiful city at that time. Moreover he minted coin, did some economic jobs and expanded the empire that became the widest empire through the history.
These tombs are located in Necropolis, Darius the 1st, Xerxes, Artaxerxes The 1st, Darius the 2nd, and in Persepolis, Artaxerxes the 2nd and the 3rd. The style of the tombs are all similar and copied from the tomb of Darius the 1st, so here we are going to explain his tomb. The tombs were built on a cliff in a Sacred mountain with a cross plan design. It consists three parts, the upper part includes some reliefs.
The king is standing on a three Steps platform, a bearded man wearing Pleated clothes with a fluted crown, while carrying an arrow in the left hand, it was the Iranian national weapon. The right is raised in respect to the holy Fire in front of him on an altar, which seems to be his own specific fire, each king had a special fire, being lighted by his born and set off after his death. above this scene there is a winged man which is the symbol of royal majesty. A bearded man wearing the same as King’s clothes, surrounding in a winged disc while there is the ring of power in his left hand and the right is up, as the sign of greeting to the king. There is a moon at the top-right corner. In this relief there is an overturned Crescent which means mortality. Also it could be the Iranian symbol of blessing. On the top-left corner there is an inscription, written in old Persian cuneiform and Elimates. in these inscriptions the king after worshipping Ahuramazda, subjects his reign to the mercy of God, introduces himself, his house and the subjects people. under these reliefs you can see that the king’s throne is carrying by his subjects people, 30 people are carrying the throne representing different Nations of the empire. Each of them are wearing their own specific clothes and weapons. in the adjunct parts there are some other reliefs. To the left 9 soldiers, and in the opposite side six courtiers had been engraved while saluting and respecting to the King with their left hands. All of them are in Persian clothes and their figures are depicted bigger than subjects People and smaller than King.
The middle part has the same decorations and style with the king’s Palace in persepolis, Tachara. There are four pillars with double headed bull capitals and an entrance at the center. This entrance leads to an aisle with three rooms, in each one there are 3 graves. It seems that in addition of Darius his family were buried there. According to historians, after burial the entrance was sealed. But when Macedonians conquered Persia, they broke it and looted the tomb. Beside, there are inscriptions between Pillars in Old Persian cuneiform, Elimates and Babylonia, describing Darius’s Manner and giving some pieces of advice to the crown prince and people. The lower part is remained undecorated, possibly to complete the cross plan style.
The Achamanid tombs are located in Necropolis and Persepolis. They have similar plan and designs, copied from the tomb of Darius the 1st. The only difference is that, just the tomb of Darius has some inscriptions.