The Cradle of Human Civilization


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Persia, Iran, History, Cyrus Cylinder, major civilizations, The Medes, The Achaemenid Empire, Guinness World Records, liberation of slaves,Jewish people, postal system, road system, Human Rights, civil services, Cyrus the Great, Immortals, Darius the Great, tax-collecting system, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Babylon, Royal Road, Herodotus, Qanat System,

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The Cradle of Human Civilization

  1. 1. HISTORY OF IRAN • Iran is home to one of the world's oldest major civilizations, with urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC.
  2. 2. THE MEDES • The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. Median Dynasty (728-550 BC) created first Iranian Empire.
  3. 3. THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE • The Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC) was the first of the Persian empires to rule from the Balkans to North Africa and also Central Asia from their capital in Persis (Persepolis).
  4. 4. THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE • The Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC) or First Persian Empire was an empire based in Western Asia, founded in the 6th century BC by Cyrus the Great. The dynasty draws its name from king Achaemenes, who ruled Persis between 705 BC and 675 BC.
  5. 5. THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE • The empire expanded to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world, which at around 500 BC stretched from parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Pannonia) and Thrace-Macedonia in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen.
  6. 6. THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE • At the height of its power after the conquest of Egypt, the empire encompassed approximately 8 million square kilometers spanning three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa. At its greatest extent, the empire included the modern territories of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Turkey, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, much of Central Asia, India, Afghanistan, northern Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and parts of Oman and the UAE.
  7. 7. THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE • According to Guinness World Records, the empire at its peak ruled over 44% of the world's population, the highest such figure for any empire in history.
  8. 8. THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE • For liberation of slaves including the Jewish people from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting infrastructures such as a postal system, road systems, and the usage of an official language, Aramaic, throughout its territories, the Achaemenids are considered as the pioneers of “Human Rights”. The empire had a centralized, bureaucratic administration under the King and a large professional army and civil services, inspiring similar developments in later empires.
  9. 9. CYRUS THE GREAT (576-530 BC) • As a tolerant ruler Cyrus allowed different cultures within his empire to keep their own institutions. • The Greeks called him a “Law-Giver.” • The Jews called him “the anointed of the Lord.” (In 537, he allowed over 40,000 to return to Palestine). • Cyrus created an organized army including the Immortals unit, consisting of 10,000 highly trained soldiers
  10. 10. TOMB OF CYRUS THE GREAT Iranian Artists Rendition of Cyrus the Great
  12. 12. DARIUS THE GREAT (526-485 BC) • Built Persepolis. • He extended the Persian Empire to the Indus River in northern India. • Established a tax-collecting system. • He created a social security system for workers in the building of the Persepolis palace. • Built a canal in Egypt.
  13. 13. DARIUS THE GREAT (526-485 BC) • Divided the empire into districts called SATRAPIES, giving shape to a multi-state empire, governed by four capital states; Pasargadae, Babylon, Susa and Ekbatana. The Achaemenids allowed a certain amount of regional autonomy in the form of the satrapy system. • Darius moved the capital from Pasargadae to Persepolis. He revolutionized the economy by placing it on a silver and gold coinage and introducing a regulated and sustainable tax system that was precisely tailored to each satrapy, based on their supposed productivity and their economy. • Established a complex postal system.
  14. 14. DARIUS THE GREAT (526-485 BC) • Under the Achaemenids, the trade was extensive and there was an efficient infrastructure that facilitated the exchange of commodities in the far reaches of the empire. Tariffs on trade were one of the empire's main sources of revenue, along with agriculture and tribute.
  15. 15. DARIUS THE GREAT (526-485 BC) • Draius built the great Royal Road system. The satrapies were linked by a 2,500-kilometer highway, the most impressive stretch being the Royal Road from Susa to Sardis, built by command of Darius I. The relays of mounted couriers could reach the remotest of areas in fifteen days. Royal Road
  16. 16. THE ACHAEMENID EMPIRE • Herodotus, in his mid-5th century BC account of Persian residents of the Pontus, reports that Persian youths, from their fifth year to their twentieth year, were instructed in three things – to ride a horse, to draw a bow, and to speak the Truth. • He further notes that: the most disgraceful thing in the world [the Persians] think, is to tell a lie; the next worst, to owe a debt: because, among other reasons, the debtor is obliged to tell lies.
  17. 17. QANAT SYSTEM
  18. 18. QANAT SYSTEM Wind tower and qanat used for cooling. By 400 BCE Persian engineers had already mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert in naturally cooled refrigerators called yakhchal (meaning ice pits) which were connected to qanats..
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  22. 22. PERSEPOLIS Gate of Xerxes at Persepolis
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