Cyrus The Great

The tomb of Cyrus the Great, which is the tomb of Cyrus the Second Achaemenid, known as Cyrus the Great, is a unique monument about one kilometer southwest of the Pasargadae palaces. Cyrus the Great, the first king and founder of the Achaemenid rule, is one of the most famous and, of course, the most popular kings of Iran, known during his reign as a righteous kingdom with a popular government. In some narratives and historical documents, it appears that Cyrus’ death after about 30 years of reign, killed in a war with a tribe called the Massages, a Persian-made and semi-desert tribe on the other side of the Sirdria River. Cyrus was badly wounded in the war and died after suffering three days of pain. Cyrus’ body was transferred to Pasargadae, buried in a plain about 2,000 meters above sea level in the middle of the mountain. He seems unlikely to participate in the war.) But his burial in Pasargadae is definitely documented.

The main base or base of the building is a platform with a single square rectangular design measuring 13.5 meters long and 12.5 meters wide. The building is made up of two completely distinct portions; a six-step stone platform and an attic roof over the sixth staircase.  The overall height of the building is just over 11 meters. The first platform, which makes up the first stair, is 165 cm high, but about 60 cm in diameter, was originally unshielded, meaning it was exactly 105 cm high like the second and third stairs. The fourth, fifth and sixth staircases are each 75.5 cm high. The width of the platforms is half a meter, and the sixth platform surface, which forms the base of the tomb room, is about 6.40 meters by 5.35 meters.

The mausoleum is 3.17 m long, 2.11m wide and 2.11 m high. An immense wall measuring 1.5 meters thick and made of four rows of shaved nickel. The first and second rows are taller than the third and fourth rows, and on the northwest side there appeared to be a double sliding door that slid open, which is gone today. The roof of the tomb is flat and enclosed inside, but the roof is exterior and the diagonal slope is eight. The roof is made of two heavy stones, on one pyramid of 6.5m by 3m and half a meter thick, on top of which there is no stone above the ceiling.


The tomb of Cyrus is the healthiest building in Pasargadae. Cyrus Tomb, this magnificent structure offers a very bold, impressive, balanced and proportioned design. The design of such a tomb, according to some scholars, has not been unknown in Iran. Cyrus’ tomb room has two doors and heel holes are clear. It is probably enclosed in two large boulders on top of each other. Such doors, which are difficult to open and close, are usually used for buildings that do not have to carry much traffic.  There are no ornaments around and inside the tomb of Cyrus, and only in the triple-lined façade and above the entrance, is a very faint role played by the image of a common Achaemenian twelve-flower petal.   In addition, no inscriptions were found in the tomb of Cyrus.

The tomb of Cyrus the Great, probably built before his death and by his own command, was considered and well maintained throughout the Achaemenid period. According to Arian, during the reign of Cambodia, the Magi, who had the task of guarding the tomb of Cyrus the Great, received royalties from the king as a sheep and a certain amount of wine and food per day and a horse per month to sacrifice for Cyrus the Great.

The tomb of Cyrus is the only building in Pasargadae described in Greek sources. The earliest descriptions of the tomb of Cyrus can be described by Aristobulus, a companion of Alexander in his expedition to the Achaemenid Empire, recorded by Arian in Anabasis Alexander’s book.

In Alexander’s attack, one of the Macedonians in the tomb was broken and his objects were looted and damaged the Cyrus’ body. Alexander ordered that Cyrus’ tomb be restored. Heckel and Yardley refer to the restoration of the tomb and the quotation from Plutarch to punish the perpetrators of the tomb, which Alexander’s aim was his personal interest in Cyrus and a benevolent or political move to identify himself as a legitimate successor to Cyrus and the Achaemenids.

In the Islamic era, the exact function of the building was not clear to the people, on the other hand, people considered the construction of magnificent stone monuments out of humanity and the construction of the tomb of Cyrus to Solomon who, according to Islamic belief, served the court for difficult tasks. For this reason, the tomb of Cyrus the Great was also listed as one of Solomon’s monuments and attributed to his mother.

By the end of the 19th century, many European scientists were not yet united with the tomb of Cyrus. The tomb of Cyrus lies in the southern corner of what was once Pasargadae’s Royal Gardens and is made of yellowish-white limestone, probably supplied by the Sivand mine. The tomb building for two and a half hundred years has endured natural and abnormal destructive elements and is still present in the Pasargad Plain

Today in Pasargadae there is only one complete inscription on the wall of the palaces in several places. These inscriptions are written in two rows in ancient Persian language and script, one Elamite translation line and one Akkadian translation line.  One of the most interesting and important features of Pasargadae, which has also been registered by UNESCO, is the existence of a garden ordered by Cyrus and named after the mother of Iranian gardens. So one of the special features of the Pasargadae complex is the royal garden and its palace complex. In Pasargadae, the Iranian garden is built with all the essential features of its architecture.

Gardens that were one of the oldest remnants of Iranian gardening and now have only a part of the drainage and fountains left have been proven by archaeologists. It should be borne in mind that the gardens and monuments of Pasargad remained perfectly preserved for several generations after Cyrus, which made it possible for Cyrus’ innovative design to be remembered not only in Fars but also elsewhere in the Achaemenid Empire.


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