Naqshe-e Rostam Tombs & Reliefs
Naqsh-e Rostam is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, Iran, In Naghsh-e Rostam we can see four tombs and one building from Achaemenid dynasty with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from Sassanid density , the last important relief belongs to Ilam dynasty and date back to 1000 B.C. These tombs have mainly architectural decoration, but the facades include large panels over the doorways, each very similar in content, with figures of the king being invested by a god, above a zone with rows of smaller figures bearing tribute, with soldiers and officials. The three classes of figures are sharply differentiated in size. The entrance to each tomb is at the center of each cross, which opens onto a small chamber, where the king lay in a sarcophagus. Well below the Achaemenid tombs, near ground level, are rock reliefs with large figures of Sassanian kings, some meeting gods, others in combat. The most famous shows the Sassanian king Shapour I on horseback, with the Roman Emperor Valerian bowing to him in submission, and Philip the Arab (an earlier emperor who paid Shapour tribute) holding Shapour’s horse, while the dead Emperor Gordian III, killed in battle, lies beneath it (other identifications have been suggested). This commemorates the Battle of Edessa in 260 AD, when Valerian became the only Roman Emperor who was captured as a prisoner of war, a lasting humiliation for the Romans. The placing of these reliefs clearly suggests the Sassanid intention to link themselves with the glories of the earlier Achaemenid Empire.