Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
& CULTURAL NEWS OF IRANIAN WORLD©
Style of Darius the Great’ Summer Palace Uncovered
17 June 2006
(CAIS) -- Further archaeological excavations on the
remains of Darius’ the Great palace which was discovered during the recent archaeological
excavations in Bolaghi Valley by the Irano-French joint team, indicate that this
palace was used as a summer settlement by Darius the Great and other Achaemenid
emperors. Studies on the stone pillars of the balcony show that the base of
these pillars were constructed and decorated with white and black stones. These
stones had been obtained from quarries which exist in Bolaghi Valley.
“We believe that the area of the castle was something about one hectare.
However, the excavations in this area indicate that the omperial settlement area
was only 30x30 meters, and therefore the remaining area must have been allocated
to a small summer palace used by Darius the Great during his reign,” said
Mohammad Taghi Atayi, Iranian head of the Irano-French joint archaeology team in
The evidence show that high qualified materials were used in the construction of
this Achaemenid monument and its foundation was so strong that parts of it have
survived over time despite a extensive level of destruction.
Prior to this, the joint Irano-French team succeeded in unearthing a black stone
pedestal in this Achaemenid summer palace, which is now being kept in Parse
Pasargadae Research Center. Atayi believes that discovery of the decorations
used in the balcony is a great help in identifying the architectural style used
in this palace.
“The four-pillared balcony of the summer palace of Darius the Great was
unearthed in area no. 34. While the discovered pedestals of the palace had a
circular shape, those of the balcony were squared shape and were 65 by 65 centimetres.
Construction of squared pedestals on which round pillars were set was a very
common architectural style of the Achaemenid dynastic era (550-330 BCE). We also
succeeded in discovering the remains of black and white stones in this summer
palace, similar to those which had already been found in Pasargadae and Sivand
during final days of our excavations in area no. 34. Just like the stones used
in the construction of Pasargadae monument, these stones have been scraped due
to rain and cold weather of the region. Evidence show that they were used as the
base of the pillars in the balcony of the summer palace,” added Atayi.
“Discovery of these stones shows that black and white stones were used for
construction and decoration of the squared pedestals and then the wooden pillars
were placed on them over which the ceiling was constructed,” explained Atayi.
After the end of the first season of excavations in area no. 34 of Bolaghi Valley,
the architectural style and the plan of this Achaemenid summer palace were
revealed to a large extent and archaeologists are hoping to unearth and identify
the other remains of this historical monument during their second season of
Bolaghi Valley located in Fars province is considered part of the cultural
landscape of the Pasargadae World Heritage site. Excavations in Bolaghi Valley
started almost two years ago with the aim of saving its archaeological evidence
before the inundation of the nearby Sivand Dam. With flooding of the Sivand Dam
by the Islaic regime, Bolaghi Valley and its 147 historical sites unearthed so
far will drown.
Following the Archaeology Seminar for Bolaghi Valley Salvation Project, held
23-24 of February 2006 in the city of Shiraz, and the constant pressure from the
nation and international cultural enthusiasts, the regime backed-down and
officially announced that the inundation of the Sivand Dam will be postponed
until the end of excavations.
is the Light on the Path to Future"
British Institute of Persian Studies