The most ancient structures in the world
PERSIA. THE ANCIENT CIVILIZATION. Persia is the ancient name of the country in southwest Asia, which since 1935 has been officially called Iran. First used both names, and today the name “Persia” is still used when it comes to Iran.
In ancient times Persia became the center of one of the greatest in the history of Empire, stretching from Egypt to the Indus river. Its membership includes all previous empires – the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians and the Hittites. Later the Empire of Alexander the great almost did not include territories that never belonged to the Persians, while it was less than Persia under king Darius.
Since the emergence in the 6th century BC to the conquest by Alexander the great in the 4th century BC for two and a half centuries Persia occupied the dominant position in the Ancient world. Greek rule lasted about one hundred years, and after the fall of the Persian power was revived by two local dynasties: the Arshakids (Parthian Empire) and Sassanid (Novorizskoe Kingdom). More than seven centuries they terrorized the first Rome and then Byzantium, until the 7th century ad, the Sassanid state was not conquered by the Islamic conquerors.
The geography of the Empire.
The lands inhabited by the ancient Persians, only approximately coincide with the boundaries of modern Iran. In ancient times such boundaries simply did not exist. There were periods when the Persian kings were the lords of Ballycastle then known world, other times the main cities of the Empire were situated in Mesopotamia, West of Persia proper, and it so happened that the whole territory of the Kingdom has been divided between warring local rulers.
A significant part of the territory of Persia is arid high plateau (1200 m), crossed by mountain ranges with individual peaks reaching 5500 m. On the West and North are the mountain ranges of Zagros and Alborz, which is framed by the uplands in the form of the letter V, leaving him open to the East. The Western and Northern boundaries of the plateau are relatively consistent with the current borders of Iran, but in the East it goes beyond the boundaries of the country, occupying part of the territory of modern Afghanistan and Pakistan. From the plateau isolated on three areas: the coast of the Caspian sea, the Persian Gulf and South-Western plains, representing the Eastern continuation of the Mesopotamian lowlands.
Immediately to the West is Persia, Mesopotamia, the birthplace of the most ancient world civilizations. The Mesopotamian States of Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria had a significant impact on the early culture of Persia. And although the Persian conquest ended after almost three thousand years after the heyday of Mesopotamia, Persia, in many ways, became the successor of the Mesopotamian civilization. Most of the important cities of the Persian Empire was located in Mesopotamia, and Persian history largely represents a continuation of Mesopotamian history.
Persia lies on the routes of the earliest migrations from Central Asia. Slowly moving to the West, settlers skirted the Northern extremity of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan and turned to the South and West, where in more accessible areas of Khorasan, to the South-East of the Caspian sea, fell on the Iranian plateau South of the Alborz mountains. Centuries later, in parallel to the early route was the main trade artery linking the far East with the Mediterranean and providing the administration of the Empire and the movement of troops. At the Western end of the plateau it descended to the plains of Mesopotamia. Other important routes connected Southeast plains through much crossed the mountains to the highlands.
Aside from a few main roads on a long and narrow mountain valleys were scattered settlements of thousands of agricultural communities. They were subsistence farming, due to isolation from their neighbors, many of them remained aloof from the wars and invasions and for many centuries served an important mission of preserving the continuity of culture, so characteristic of the ancient history of Persia. Cm. also MESOPOTAMIA, an ANCIENT CIVILIZATION.
It is known that the most ancient inhabitants of Iran had a different origin than the Persians and kindred peoples, who created the civilization on the Iranian plateau, and also the Semites and the Sumerians, whose civilization arose in Mesopotamia. During excavations in the caves near the southern coast of the Caspian sea were found the skeletons of people, dated VIII Millennium BC In North-Western Iran, in the town of Gay-Tepe, were found the skulls of people who lived in the III Millennium BC
Scientists have proposed to call the indigenous people by the Caspians, indicating a geographical connection with the peoples inhabiting the Caucasian mountains to the West of the Caspian sea. Choose Caucasian tribes are known to have migrated to more southern areas within the highlands. “Caspian” type, apparently, preserved in a highly attenuated form among the nomadic tribes lurou in modern Iran.
For archaeology of the Middle East the Central issue is the Dating of the appearance of agricultural settlements. Artifacts and other evidence found in the Caspian caves, suggests that local tribes with VIII to V centuries BC were mainly involved in hunting, then switched to cattle, which, in turn, CA. fourth Millennium BC changed farming. Permanent settlements appeared in the Western part of the plateau before the III Millennium BC and most likely in V thousand BC To the main settlements include Silk, Gay-Tepe, Hissar, but the largest were Susa, which later became the capital of the Persian state. In these small villages along the winding narrow streets were crowded with each other mud hut. The deceased were buried either under the floor of the house or at the cemetery, crooked (“fetal”) position. Reconstruction of life of ancient inhabitants of the highlands was made based on the study of utensils, tools and decorations that were placed in tombs to provide the deceased with everything necessary for the afterlife.
The development of culture in prehistoric Iran was sustained for many centuries. As in Mesopotamia, they started to build houses with bricks of large size, producing objects of cast brass, and then cast in bronze. Appeared of printing from stone with a carved pattern, which was evidence of the emergence of private property. Found large jars for food storage suggests that for the period between harvests was done the stocks. Among the finds of all periods are found statuettes of the mother goddess, often depicted with her husband, who was both her husband and son.
The most notable is a huge variety of painted pottery, the walls of some of them no thicker than the shell of an egg. Shows a profile of the figures of birds and animals witness to the talent of the prehistoric artisans. On some of the pottery depicted the man himself occupied by hunting or performing some rituals. About 1200-800 BC, painted pottery is replaced by a single color – red, black or grey, which explains the invasion of tribes from as yet established regions. Ceramics of the same type was found very far away from Iran to China.
The historical era begins on the Iranian plateau at the end of IV Millennium BC much of the information about the descendants of the ancient tribes who lived on the Eastern borders of Mesopotamia, in the Zagros mountains was derived from Mesopotamian Chronicles. (About the tribes that inhabited the Central and Eastern regions of the Iranian plateau in the annals of no information, because they had no ties with the Mesopotamian kingdoms.) The largest of the peoples that inhabited the Zagros, were the Elamites, captured Susa an ancient city, situated on the plain at the foot of the Zagros, and founded there a powerful and prosperous nation Elam. Elamite chronicle began to be compiled CA. 3000 BC and continued for two thousand years. Further North lived cassity, the barbarian horsemen, which by the mid-second Millennium BC, conquered Babylonia. Cassity accepted the civilization of the Babylonians and ruled southern Mesopotamia for several centuries. Less significant were the tribes of the Northern Zagros, but they resisted sharply and lullubi that lived in the area where the great TRANS-Asian trade route down from the Western edge of the Iranian plateau to the plain.