Iran is located between the valley of Sind and Tighris Euphrates, and at the extreme north of it the Caspian Sea, connecting the world of Sloves, with those of Tatars and Sythians. On the south, it is linked with India and the Arab world. There are records of numerous ancient civilizations on the Iranian plateau before the arrival of Iranian tribes from Central Asia during the Early Iron Age. Read this article to get more information about Iran history.
Persia, one of the oldest civilization of the world
The earliest archaeological artifacts in Iran were found in the Kashafrud and Ganj Par sites that date back to Lower Paleolithic. Mousterian Stone tools made by Neanderthal man have also been found. There are also 9000-year-old human and animal figurines from Teppe Sarab in Kermanshah Province among the many other ancient artifacts. Evidence for Upper Paleolithic and Epipaleolithic periods are known mainly from the Zagros region in the caves of Kermanshah and Khoramabad. 7000-year-old jars of wine excavated in the Zagros Mountains (now on display at The University of Pennsylvania) and ruins of 7000-year-old settlements such as Sialk are further testament to this. Two main Neolithic Iranian settlements were the Zayandeh Rud civilization and Ganj Dareh. Elam was also one of main civilizations of Prehistoric Iran located in the east of Mesopotamia, which started from around 5000 BC, and lasted well into the 6th century BC. Another Iran’s main civilization of this time was the Jiroft Civilization in southeastern Iran. Recent excavations about Iran history at the sites have produced the world’s earliest inscription which pre-dates Mesopotamian inscriptions. The history of this plateau dates back to far distant Milleniums but from the Fifth Millenium onward, traces of life have been found on the hill of Gian in Nahavand and Sialak near Kashan and Cheshmeh Ali. One can also see trace of human foot on the province and area of Medes, even in Susa and prehistoric mounds of Bacun in Pars province. There have been trace of art and existence of Aryan tribes who came to plateau of Iran via the eastern and western shores of the Caspian Sea from the end of the Second Millennium. This invading group migrated to Iran plateau with their families, cattles, livestocks, and tents in search of residential places and pastures. They were living in Kharazm and Jeyhoon.
Early residents of Persia
The official document of Iran history is exclusively related to inscriptions and what is connected with Medes is found by Assyrian tablets. According to these tablets Geshtrinas and Persians united together and overthrew the Assyrians. But there were other native and indigenous nations whose residence lasted for long centuries. For instance, Kassite who came to this area 15 centuries earlier than Amadi and they had domination over Sumer and Babylion.
According to the proofs of Iran history, Aryans, who came to this land later on were often threatened from north, west and south respectively by Uraturs, Assyrians and Elamites. The Medes are credited with the foundation of Iran as a nation and empire, and established the first Iranian empire, the largest of its day until Cyrus the Great established a unified empire of the Medes and Persians leading to the magnificent Achaemenian Empire.
Achaemenid empire is absolutely the greatest empire in Iran history. Cyrus the Great created the Cyrus Cylinder, considered to be the first declaration of human rights. He was the first king whose name has the suffix “Great” and the first Shah of Iran to be known by that title. Achaemenian ruled for about 200 years. Cyrus also banned slavery in all of the conquered areas that became the Persian Empire. Cyrus’ seminal ideas greatly influenced later human civilizations; Cyrus’ principles of ruling – advocating “love” rather than “fear” – influenced the original U.S. Constitution. After Cyrus’ death, his son Cambyses ruled for seven years and continued his father’s work of conquest, making significant gains in Egypt. A power struggle followed Cambyses’ death and, despite his tenuous connection to the royal line, Darius was declared king. He was to be arguably the greatest of the ancient Persian rulers. In 331 BC. the last king of this dynasty “Darius the Third” was defeated and overthrown by “Alexander the Macedonian”.
Seleucid and Sassanid’s Empire
After Alexander his successors, Seleucids, ruled Iran for 70 years and they intermingled with Iranians and promoted Hellenism in the area. Parthians, who considered themselves as heirs of Aryans defeated and overthrew Seleucides. They ruled 440 years over Iran history and eventually were subdued by Sassanids who were at that time governing Pars province. They were a branch of Aryans who had come to the area via Sistan and Kerman. Sassanids ruled for 400 years until Arabs conquest of Persians in the 7th century.
The Arab warriors swept across the Iranian plateau and toppled the Sassanid dynasty. Many of the healthy architectural remains of Iran are related to this golden era in Persian history. It was in this period that Zoroastrianism becomes state religion of the Sassanian Empire and played an important role in every day’s traditions and beliefs. The Iranian Prophet Zoroaster is considered by numerous scholars as the founder of the earliest religion based on revealed scripture. Many scholars point out that Judaism and subsequently, Christianity and Islam have borrowed from Zoroastrianism in regards to the concepts of Eschatology, Angelology and Demonology.
Iran history – What we known as Persia
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