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August 20, 2017

The Achaemenid tomb at Gur-e Dokhtar, Iran

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gur-e_dokhtar
Achaemenid tomb at Gur-e Dokhtar

Gur-e Dokhtar is one of those ancient Achaemenid sites that virtually no one knows about. That seems fair given it’s relative remoteness from other major archaeological sites such as Pasargadae and Parsa (Persepolis, Takht-i Jamshid). It’s also not known exactly who was buried inside this small mausoleum. The architecture is definitely of the early Achaemenid period, but there has not been any conclusive evidence or even a record of just who this structure may have been intended for. The was site was discovered only recently in 1968 by the Belgian archaeologist Louis Vandenberg.

The name Gur-e Dokhtar means “Tomb of the maiden” in Farsi, and some believe that this is where the Achaemenid King Cyrus the Great’s mother Mandane, a Median princess, was buried. Others believe that it could actually be the tomb of his daughter, Atossa. Perhaps it is not the tomb of a woman at all but of one of Cyrus’ Achaemenid ancestors such as his grandfather, Cyrus I. [REF] Circle for Ancient Iranian Studies. [/REF] This is possible as the tomb, though smaller, bears a striking resemblance to Cyrus the Great’s own modest tomb at Pasargadae.

The tomb today is near the settlement of Tang-e Eram in Bushehr province but close to the border of the province of Fars.


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