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8/13/04

Iran to Develop Ecbatana into Tourism Attraction

Iranian experts and officials are studying a major plan to develop the historical site of Ecbatana,the summer capital of Cyrus the Great, into an international tourist destination, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.

"Given the cultural and historical significance of Ecbatana, it would be a perfect tourism attraction for those visitors who appreciate the splendor of Persian empires," said Farhad Farzaneh, general director of Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization (CHO) in western province of Hamadan.

He estimated that if the project is funded on time, it would take 2 to 3 years to complete studies and surveys.

Ecbatana is now modern Hamadan and it was known in scriptural records as Achmetha. It was the early capital of the Medes and later the summer capital of Cyrus the Great. Ancient writers say the city had seven walls, each of a different color, and that the inner wall was covered with gold. Semiramis, an Assyrian queen, built a gorgeous palace here in 800 BC. In 546 BC Cyrus conquered Lydia and brought Croesus and his wealth to Ecbatana.

Sir H Rawlinson attempted to prove that there was a second and older Ecbatana in Media Atropatene, on the site of the modern Takht-i-Suleiman, but the cuneiform texts imply that there was only one city of the name, and Takht-i-Suleiman is the Gazaca of classical geography. Ecbatana was the main mint of the Parthians, it produced drachm, tetradrachm, and assorted bronze denominations.

... Payvand News - 8/13/04 ... --



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