In Focus: Persepolis and its mesmerizing bas-relief carvings

July 23, 2017 - 9:27

Photo depicts a stone staircase dominated by magnificent bas-relief carvings at Persepolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Iran, July 15, 2017

The topmost bas-relief depicting a lion attacking a bull is a recurrent theme among Persepolis sculptures. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of Achaemenid Empire (550 –330 BC).

Open to interpretation, this mythological scene is widely believed to point at the time of vernal equinox as the lion is a symbol of the summer sun that defeats the bull which can be referred to as the winter’s rain.

One of the great wonders of the ancient world, Persepolis bears unique witness to ancient Iranian architecture, urban planning, construction technology, and arts. It also embodies a grand idea that was conceived by Darius the Great who, in 520 BC, inherited the responsibility for ruling the world’s first known empire founded by his predecessor, Cyrus the Great.