The Rock tombs of Naghsh-e Rostam are magnificent hewnout of a cliff high above the ground. this ancient necropolis that is a collections of Achaemenid Tombs located next to the nearby Persepolis, and also lies a few hundred meters from Naqsh-e Rajab. The oldest relief at Naqsh-e Rustam dates to 1000 BC. Though it is severely damaged, it depicts a faint image of a man with unusual head-gear and is thought to be Elamite in origin. The depiction is part of a larger mural, most of which was removed at the command of Bahram II. The man with the unusual cap gives the site its name, Naqsh-e Rostam, “Picture of Rostam”, because the relief was locally believed to be a depiction of the mythical hero Rostam

The Achaemenid rock tombs

Four Achaemenid rock tombs from left to right as you look on the cliff, are believed to be those of Dariush II (423 – 404 B.C), Artaxerxes I (465 – 424 B.C), Darius I The Great (522 – 486 B.C), Xerxes I (486-465)

Although historian are still debating on this. The Achaemenid Rock Tombs of the later Artaxerxes above Persepolis were modelled on Naghsh-e Rostam. however the reliefs above the opening are similar to those at Persepolis, with the kings standing at fire altars supported by figures representing the subjects nations below.

The cruciform designs of the tombs are supposedly represents the cardinal points while some historian wonder whether this religious symbols has any relationships to the Christian cross.

Sassanid stone relifs in Naghsh-e Rostam

The eight Sassanid Stone reliefs cut into the cliff depict scenes of Imperial conquests and royal ceremonies:

The investiture relief of Ardashir I ( 226-242)

The triumph of Shapur I (241-272)

The “grandee” relief of Bahram II ( 276-293)

The two equestrian reliefs of Bahram II (276-293)

The investiture of Narseh (293-303)

The equestrian relief of Hormizd II (c. 303-309)