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Naqsh-e Rostam

Top choice in Iran

The spectacular rock tombs at Naqsh-e Rostam are a must-see. Hewn out of a cliff high above the ground, the four tombs are believed to be those of Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I (from left to right facing the cliff), although historians are still debating this. The seven Sassanian stone reliefs cut into the cliff depict vivid scenes of imperial conquests and royal ceremonies; signboards below each relief give a detailed description in English.

The reliefs above the openings to the funerary chambers are similar to those at Persepolis, with the kings standing on thrones supported by figures representing the subject nations below.

Facing the cliff is the Bun Khanak (Central Home). This was long thought to be an Achaemenid fire temple, but scholars now argue that it might have been a treasury. The walls are marked with inscriptions cataloguing later Sassanian victories.

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