Achaemenid Religious Monuments: An Archaeological Perspective

Recorded: February 19, 2020
Event: Contextualizing Iranian Religions in the Ancient World - 14th Melammu Symposium

by Ali Mousavi (University of California, Los Angeles)

Achaemenid Religious Monuments: An Archaeological Perspective

Much has been written on the religions of the Achaemenid empire, but scholarship centered on the physical places of worship and the practice of religious rites within those spaces is either scarce or embedded in discussions of other topics. In absence of temples, certain monumental structures of unknown function have been identified as loci for religious ceremonies. This presentation reviews those Achaemenid structures and their possible religious purpose in light of new studies and excavations at sites, such as Pasargadae, Persepolis, and Naqš-e Rostam, and will attempt at elucidating the complexity of Achaemenid royal monuments, some which have so far defied all possible interpretations.