I found a traveller from a classic land...

It all goes a bitozymandias in the 1st episode of journalist samira ahmeds three-part research in to the complex and thrilling art and history of persia (modern-day iran). magnificent damages bear inscriptions offering i, cyrus the king, and i also was xerxes, the truly amazing king, while lone and degree sands stretch far. how the deeds of these males, transformed into legends, filled the 10th century text regarding the shahnameh, the nationwide epic of iran, types an intriguing back ground to the woman travelogue.

By 1250bc, old plumbing work had been channelling water for irrigation in the region, and a 4,000-year-old gold pin is testament on elegance associated with the culture. ahmed visits the ziggurat of choga zanbil, with its 1000s of imprinted bricks bearing the ancient language of their designers, the elamites. at susa, their capital, a website dating back to to 1500bc, she encounters cyrus the great, whom overthrew the elamites and also the medians, sweeping up their places into their solid persian empire. drone video footage of ahmed as a brightly colored speck traversing the frameworks emphasises their scale. an abrupt change of focus reveals the incongruence associated with nineteenth century french fortress erected when archaeologists begun to excavate. the fortress was constructed from old bricks pilfered from the really site it absolutely was likely to protect didnt seem to bother all of them.

The administrative wizard darius we built persepolis, her next end, in which a frieze reveals 23 topic peoples, including nubians, providing modest tribute. alexander the truly amazing got wind of the riches, thrashed darius iii and invested 2 months looting persepolis, thereafter, ahmed contends, the achaemenid dynasty vanished totally from record. (perhaps not greek record, apparently, as their conquerors had been generally keen to create understood whom it's theyve conquered.) but once for the poet ferdowsi, which authored the shahnameh, the memory for the great leaders had become dim enough for incorrect but entertaining legends to swirl around all of them. it wasnt darius i who built persepolis, he composed, nevertheless the entirely mythical jamshid, whose exploits, as well as those of rostam (a sort of persian hercules), embellish the epic poem.

The clay document referred to as cyrus cylinder into the british museum boasts for the rulers plan of tolerance to spiritual minorities. it really is, ahmed announces, propaganda, without describing why, while later details she provides seem to confirm its statements. referring to the area ahistorically as iran doesnt help either, but you can find fascinating riches and dazzling sights to beguile the eye therefore the brain. for example, a vintage design of persian rugs is founded on the haven garden of cyrus, plus the great wall of gorgan ended up being built 1,000 years before chinas, although it didnt keep out of the after that revolution of invaders.

Bbc4, monday june 15, 9pm

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