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Architectural Style of Darius the Great’ Summer Palace Uncovered


17 June 2006




LONDON, (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 Bolaghi Valley.

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 excavations.

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.






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Source/Extracted From: CHN



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