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A large elevated cistern was carved at the eastern foot of the mountain to catch rain water for drinking and bathing.The terraced plan of the site around the palace walls enabled the Persians to easily defend any section of the front.Around 515 BCE, construction of a broad stairway was begun up to the palace doors.This grand, dual entrance to the palace, known as the Persepolitan stairway, was a masterpiece of symmetry on the western side of the building and the steps were so wide that Persian royalty and those of noble birth could ascend or descend the stairs by horseback, thereby not having to touch the ground with their feet.Darius made Parsa the new capital of the Persian Empire, instead of Pasargadae, the old capital and burial place of King Cyrus the Great.Because of its remote location in the mountains, however, travel to Parsa was almost impossible during the rainy season of the Persian winter when paths turned to mud and so the city was used mainly in the spring and summer warmer seasons.Limestone was the main building material used in Persepolis.After natural rock had been leveled and the depressions filled in, tunnels for sewage were dug underground through the rock.

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The most complete remnants are on display in several museums throughout Europe and North America, but as valuable as their insight may be, they can’t begin to capture the magnitude or surreal feeling that one gets by actually walking on these ancient grounds and becoming part of the past. This archaeological site is the number one tourist destination in the country, and with good reason.Culture Trip takes a look into why this forgotten empire is one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world.Other notable carvings represent nobles, dignitaries, and envoys of Ethiopian, Tajik, Indian, Egyptian, and Armenian nationalities, among others, who visited the capital bearing tributes for the King of Kings.Every detail of their face, hair, curly beards, and clothes is both mind-boggling and connected to the present in appearance.

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