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Pasargadae (Persian: پاسارگاد Pāsārgād), the capital of Cyrus the Great (559-530 BC) and also his last resting place, was a city in ancient Persia, and is today an archaeological site and one of Iran's UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The construction of the capital city by Cyrus the Great, begun in 546 BCE or later, was left unfinished after Cyrus died in battle in 530 or 529 BCE. The tomb of Cyrus' son and successor, Cambyses II, also has been found in Pasargadae.

Pasargadae remained the Persian capital until Cambyses II moved it to Susa; later, Darius founded another in Persepolis. The archaeological site covers 1.6 square kilometres and includes a structure commonly believed to be the mausoleum of Cyrus, the fortress of Toll-e Takht sitting on top of a nearby hill, and the remains of two royal palaces and gardens. The gardens provide the earliest known example of the "Persian chahar bagh", or fourfold garden design.

The most important monument in Pasargadae is the tomb of Cyrus the Great. It has six broad steps leading to the sepulchre, the chamber of which measures 3.17 m long by 2.11 m wide by 2.11 m high and has a low and narrow entrance.

Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. It is said that in universal history, the role of the Achaemenid empire founded by Cyrus lies in its very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects. In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae, were the works of Cyrus. Aside from his own nation, Persia (modern Iran), Cyrus the Great also left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion through his Edict of Restoration, where because of his policies in Babylonia, he is referred to by the people of the Jewish faith, as "the anointed of the Lord" or a "Messiah."

Cyrus the Great is also well recognized for his achievements in human rights (The Cyrus Cylinder), politics, and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations. To date, Cyrus the Great and his historical signature define the national identity for Iranians.

The Cyrus Cylinder is an ancient clay cylinder, now broken into several fragments, on which is written a declaration in Akkadian cuneiform script in the name of the Achaemenid king Cyrus the Great. It dates from the 6th century BC and was discovered in the ruins of Babylon in Mesopotamia in 1879. It is currently in the possession of the British Museum.
The United Nations has declared the relic to be an "ancient declaration of human rights" since 1971, approved by then Secretary General Mr. Sithu U Thant.

A part of the Cyrus Cylinder :

..... when my numerous soldiers in great numbers peacefully entered Babylon and moved about undisturbed in the midst of the Babylon, I did not allow anyone to terrorize the people of the lands of Sumer and Akad and ...... I kept in view, the needs of the people and all their sanctuaries to promote their well being. I strove for peace in Babylon and in all his other sacred cities. As to the inhabitants of Babylon who against the will of the gods were enslaved, I abolished the corvee which was against their social standing, I freed all slaves. I brought relief to their dilapidated housing, putting thus an end to their misfortunes and slavery ......

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Additional Photos by Atousa Taghavi (Atousa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1105 W: 57 N: 2111] (7131)
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