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Magnificence of Persepolis Virtual Reconstruction [i]

Visual Essays


Afhami, Kourosh


















 ... I will not tolerate that the weak shall suffer injustices brought upon them by the mighty.  What is just pleases me.... You, my subjects, must not assume what the powerful undertake as sublime.  What the common man achieves is much more extraordinary.

Darius the Great (522-486 B.C.)

With such a philosophy, shaped by the teachings of Zarathushtra, Cyrus the Great founded the Persian Empire and Darius the Great immortalized it.

Persepolis was the spiritual center of the first world power in recorded history.  The air of tolerance, leniency and dignity of mankind are manifest in the artistic symbolism of the Persepolitan architecture.  In 520 B.C., Darius, aware of the moral responsibilities of the state over which he reigned, called upon architects and artisans from every corner of his vast kingdom from Libya and Egypt to India, from the Danube to the Indus, from the Caucasus Mountains to the Asiatic Steppes and from the Aral Sea to the Persian Gulf to work together with Persian architects to create something never before seen, yet unmistakably Persian.

That magnificent palace, a unique world heritage, was set on fire by the order of Alexander the accursed of Macedonia in 330 B.C. when he defeated the last Achaemenian king, Darius III. Rampaging through the Persian empire he would leave a trail of death and destruction on a scale not seen before. 

Ruins of that magnificent palace have endured for the past 23 centuries and give the visitor a sense of the greatness of the palace.

Visual reconstruction of the palace, made possible through latest computer simulation based on historical records of the palace gives the viewer a truer sense of the grandeur of the palace

The visuals shown below were produced in late 20th century in Germany.  The goal of this endeavor was to bring Persepolis back to life - not only to show the complexities of its urban design but also to illuminate the wealth of details to a wide spectrum of both professionals and interested laymen alike.  Our work has integrated with exactitude all existing and substantiated knowledge of Persepolis.

It is already possible through this virtual reconstruction to step back into the Persian Empire of the sixth century B.C. and visit the great terrace, the monumental buildings, the palatial residences, the public squares and the private gardens from every angle and perspective. Every corner and angle of such sites can be created from the viewpoint of the people who lived then.

To digitally reconstruct these complex structures in their entirety including the vast richness of detail is an undertaking that will require a great deal of time to accomplish. The specific buildings can only gradually be created and the great terrace will be built step by step. What we at this point in time are presenting to you represents only the preliminary fruits of our labor and will be both qualitatively and quantitatively further developed - the results of which can be monitored through our updates.

In order to move at a faster pace with the reconstruction of Persepolis and its introduction to the general public, we are looking to form partnerships with other organizations that share our enthusiasm and want to invest in this project to accelerate it or in other projects and in addition produce educational DVDs, books, and other merchandise to promote our great culture and heritage.  We believe such a project would also give rise to other opportunities not only financially, but also socially and politically.

We believe more needs to be done with respect to introducing and teaching the culture and history of Iranzamin to the world, especially Iranian children raised in various cultures and religions, as well as Zoroastrian children of all nationalities.

For more information about this project and the principals involved,[ii] please visit http://www.persepolis3D.com

[i] Posted on vohuman.org on January 18, 2005.
[ii] The author acknowledges the support of  Wolfgang Gambke and Sheda Vasseghi.