Metal mines, providing metal for the construction of Pasargadae, have been discovered by a team of Iranian archeologists, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Pasargadae was the first capital city of the Achaemenid Empire (559-330 BC) and still bears testament to Persians' architecture and construction skills. "After discovering the mines, experts intend to dig them for more clues on the dynasty," said Babak Kial, head of the historical site.
The team is more interested in finding the mining techniques adopted over 2,500 years ago. Metal artifacts unearthed in the site indicate that those people used to have an advanced metal industry.
Prior to his death, Cyrus the Great founded a new capital city at Pasargadae in Fars and established a government for his Empire. Pasargadae covered an area almost 1.5 miles in length and included palaces, a temple and the tomb of the king of kings. The city was built on the site where King Cyrus defeated the leader of the Medes, Astyages, in 550 BC.
The heart of Pasargadae is the citadel, which is known as Tall-i-Takht or 'throne hill'. It overlooks a garden in the south, and the palace complex itself. This consists of two smaller units: the residential palace and the many columned audience hall. The audience hall or Apadana can be approached from the south-east; the visitor first has to pass a gate and then has to cross a bridge over the river Pulvār.
The small tomb of King Cyrus is situated a little to the southwest. It was venerated by later rulers, the Macedonian king Alexander the Great, who ordered restorations in January 324 BC. The tomb of Cyrus' successor Cambyses was never finished.
Even though King Darius built a new capital, Persepolis, 43 kilometers downstream along the river Pulvar, Pasargadae remained an important place, probably as the religious capital of the Achaemenid empire where the inauguration of the kings took place.
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