Susa is one of the first cradles of urban civilization and one of the first capitals of the world. This ancient city, which dates back to more than 7000 years ago, is located in Khuzestan Province near the border of modern Iraq.
For thousands of years, Susa has been the meeting place of Mesopotamian civilizations and then the great empires of the ancient world. Let's turn the pages of more than 7000 years of history.
A Short History of Susa Construction
The construction history of this city is mixed with myth; very old stories introduce Susa as the first city built after Noah's flood. Others consider Hushang (the mythical king of Pishdadian dynasty in Ferdowsi's Shahnameh) or a Trojan prince to be the founder of Susa. Apart from these mythological stories, archaeological excavations show that Susa is one of the oldest cities in the world because Sush is located in the rich alluvial plain of Karun, Dez and Karkheh rivers; as a result, the people living in the surrounding mountains started the process of urbanization from this place. Over time, with the growth of urbanization and the movement of Mesopotamian people, Susa was expanded until it was chosen as the capital in the Elamite era.
Folowing this event, Susa became so important that even during the entire Achaemenid era, the only political and administrative capital of this government was Susa. Although Susa was destroyed during Alexander's attack, this ancient city regained its prosperity to some extent and prospered during parthian and Sassanid periods. In the Islamic period in the 3rd and 4th centuries of Hijri, the new city of Susa was built and the inhabitants of the old city settled there. Afterwards, the city was more or less inhabited. It was in the first half of the 20th century AD when thousand years of Susa history came out of the ground, with the archaeological excavations led by Jacques De Morgan and other Frenchmen such as Marcel Delaufoy.
Existing structures in the Ancient Site of Susa
The ancient site of Susa is a collection of structures and archaeological findings dating from 7000 years ago to the present day. This historical area includes Shapur Palace, Apadana Palace, Eastern Gate, Hadish Palace, 15th City, Achaemenid Village, Shush Grand Mosque and Islamic period buildings such as Acropolis Hills and French Castle. Unfortunately, many parts of these structures have been destroyed due to human destruction throughout history, as well as floods caused by the overflow of the surrounding rivers. Despite all these destructions, it is interesting to know that the Code of Hammurabi, belonging to ancient Babylon, was also discovered in Susa. Another important finding in Susa is an inscription belonging to Ashurbanipal (Emperor of Assyria) in which he described his bloody victory over Elam; he even mentions that he is proud of destroying all the fertile lands of Susa by using salt. The Tomb of Daniel the prophet and Choghazanbil are also located near this area.
The Architecture of Susa Ancient Site
The palaces of this complex belong to the Achaemenids; for instance, Darius I built palaces in Perspolis similar to the ones in Susa . Their architecture is so similar to the architecture in the palaces of Perspolis that it reminds every one of the greatness of the Achaemenid Empire; the thick white stones of the palaces of Susa are the same as the ones in Perspolis, which shows the same materials, architect and plan. Unique petroglyphs discovered from the Achaemenid period are two-dimensional ones decorated with colored glazed tiles. In the buildings related to the Islamic era, including the Grand Mosque of Shush, we can see a combination of Iranian and Islamic architecture, but the French Castle, built with the help of ancient clay found in the area of the palaces, is considered to have been a place to monitor the activities of the explorers.
Susa is a mixture of 7000 years of life in the cradle of world civilization. Find the glory in Susa!!!