The Tomb of Cyrus the Great is Located in ancient Persia and in present day’s Fars province, it lies 43 kilometers from Persepolis and is one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Cyrus the Great (ca.600 - 529 BCE) was a towering figure in the history of mankind. As the "father of the Iranian nation", he was the first world leader to be referred to as "The Great". Cyrus founded the first world empire - and the second Iranian dynastic empire (the Achaemenids) - after defeating the Median dynasty and uniting the Medes with the other major Iranian tribe, the Persians.
It is said his tomb to be the oldest base-isolated structure in the world. In spite of having ruled over much of the ancient world, Cyrus the Great would design a tomb that depicts extreme simplicity and modesty when compared to those of other ancient kings and rulers.
When Alexander looted and destroyed Persepolis, he decides to pay a visit to the tomb of Cyrus. Arrian, writing in the second century of the Common Era, recorded that Alexander commanded Aristobulus, one of his warriors, to enter the monument. Inside he found a golden bed, a table set with drinking vessels, a gold coffin, some ornaments studded with precious ...see more stones and an inscription on the tomb. No trace of any such inscription survives, and there is considerable disagreement to the exact wording of the text. Strabo reports that it read:
Passer-by, I am Cyrus, who gave the Persians an empire, and was king of Asia.
Grudge me not therefore this monument.
Another variation, as documented in Persia: The Immortal Kingdom is:
O man, whoever thou art, from whosesoever thou cometh, for I know you shall come, I am Cyrus, who founded the empire of the Persians.
Grudge me not, therefore, this little earth that covers my body.
The form of the Tomb is so simple and is constructed of large, carefully dressed ashlar blocks set with precision and secured by dovetail clamps. It has got six broad steps leading to the sepulcher. Whereas each of the three upper steps are 0.57 meters high, each of the lower ones are 1.05 meter high. The lowest step seems a bit taller as part of the foundation is exposed. On the northwest side a narrow doorway, 1.39 m high without the sill and 0.78 m wide, leads through a small passage to a chamber measuring 3.17 meters long, 2.11 meters wide and 2.11 meters high. The gabled stone roof is hollow. Around the Tomb were a series of columns although the original structure which they supported is no longer present.
The design of Cyrus' Tomb is credited to Mesopotamian or Elamite ziggurats, but the inner chamber is usually attributed to Urartu Tombs of an earlier period. The main decoration on the Tomb is a rosette design over the door within the gable. In general, the art and architecture found at Pasargadae exemplified the Persian synthesis of various traditions, drawing on precedents from Elam, Babylon, Assyria, and ancient Egypt, with the addition of some Anatolian influences.
There has been growing concern regarding the Sivand Dam, named after the nearby town of Sivand . Its placement between both the ruins of Pasargadae and Persepolis has many archaeologists and Iranians worried that the dam will flood these UNESCO World Heritage sites, but scientists involved with the construction say this is not obvious because the sites sit above the planned waterline.