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Persepolis Stones Carved with 10 Different Chisels


19 July 2004



Iranian archaeologists have managed to recognize 10 varied types of chisels used over 2,500 years ago to carve and engrave stones in Persepolis.

“After studying the stones and engraving found in the historical complex, we decided they have used 10 types of chisel, all categorized by size and width of their tips, mainly shaped in square, rectangular, or multi-faceted,” said Nahid Harati, an expert with the Parse-Pasargadae Research Foundation.

Archaeologists have found out t that ancient artisans and skilled workers used to mount stone slab over each other to form the desired shape and then started carving them, first with wider chisels and afterwards with smaller ones to make ornaments, she added. They have also realized a host of engravers from a sundry of nations including Greece and Egypt were hired to wok on the Achaemenid palaces. Under the dynasty of the Achaemenid rulers, the Persian empire comprised Iran, Mesopotamia, Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor with its Greek towns and some islands, Central Asia, Caucasus, Thrace and parts of India.

The magnificent ruins of Persepolis lie at the foot of Kuh-i-Rahmat, or "Mountain of Mercy," in the plain of Marv Dasht about 400 miles south of the capital city of Teheran.

The exact date of the founding of Persepolis is not known. It is assumed that Darius I began work on the platform and its structures between 518 and 516 B.C., visualizing Persepolis as a show place and the seat of his vast Achaemenid Empire. But the security and splendor of Persepolis lasted only two centuries.


Its majestic audience halls and residential palaces perished in flames when Alexander conquered and looted Persepolis in 330 B.C. and, according to Plutarch, carried away its treasures on 20,000 mules and 5,000 camels.



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