The Apadana (Throne Room) facade of the Persepolis palace complex.
Built mostly by Darius the Great and Xerxes I, the remains of the colossal Persian palace architecture at the dramatic location of Persepolis, southern Iran, are tantalizing because what remains now only hints at what once must have been an awe inspiring sight. Of all the royal structures that formed the heart of the capital of the Persian empire the Apadana was the grandest.
Here, as part of the Persian New Year celebrations the "king of the world" sat on a throne with officials and elite guards standing by and received the tribute from all the nations of his vast realm giving royal presents in return. My image depicts foreign ambassadors mounting the grand staircase of the Apadana and waiting on the broad terrace to be admitted into the kings presence.
There are several good reconstructions of the Apadana of Persepolis available in print and online but, on closer examination, they reveal serious shortcomings. I decided to undertake the labor intensive task of carrying out the necessary research and execute a detailed view of an authoritative image of the Apadana as it was in the 5th -4th centuries BC. I turned to excavation reports published by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago which excavated the site in the 1930s. There is a general consensus among archaeologists as to the elevation of the walls based on the mere foundations that survive. The few columns of the original 72 that still stand today on the vast platform gave me the information of the full height of the terrace after topping them with the enormous bull capitals that were found at the site during excavations. read more