In Antiquity, Bagastana, which means ‘place where the gods dwell’, was the name of a village and a remarkable, isolated rock along the road that connected the capitals of Babylonia and Media, Babylon and Ecbatana where The Behistun inscription was carved. The famous Behistun inscription was engraved on a cliff about 100 meters off the ground. Darius tells us how the supreme gods Ahuramazda choose him to dethrone a usurper named Gaumata, how he set out to quell several revolts, and how he defeated his foreign enemies.

The monument consists of four parts:

A large relief depicting king Darius, his bow carrier Intaphrenes and his lance carrier Gobryas. Darius overlooks nine representatives of conquered peoples, their necks tied. A tenth figure, badly damaged, is lying under the king’s feet. Above these thirteen people is a representation of the supreme god Ahuramazda. This relief is based on older monuments, further along the road, at Sar-e Pol-e Zahab.
Underneath is a panel with a cuneiform text in Old Persian, telling the story of the king’s conquests. The text consists of four columns and an appendix and has a total length of about 515 lines. Another panel is telling more or less the same story in Babylonian. A third panel with the same text in Elamite language. This translation of the Persian text has a length of 650 lines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *