At Pasarpthe there are vast artificial platforms, and extensive ruins ; but none sufficiently uninjured to permit of their identification with any particular edifice, or even to determine to what kind of building they belong. The great platform about 300 feet square, and nearly 40 feet high. is formed of 14 courses of large blocks of white marble, each stone being beautifully fitted and clamped to its neighbour, and bevilled at the joints,—it is therefore admirable as an example of ancient Persian masonry, but of little architectural value. Other marble platforms occur on which also buildings have -once doubtless stood, but of which no vestiges remain. In the plain are a fragment or two of large isolated pillars ; and a curious tower-like structure of white marble 9 feet square, and 49 feet high. This is probably one of the fire-temples of the ancient Persians. A similar building is found at Istakn, opposite the tombs of Naksh-i-Rustam. It is of marble ; and the lower part being solid, it is entered by a door some height from the ground. There is a small square upper chamber, the roof of which is formed by large slabs of stone; and this roof is said to still show marks of fire.
At Susa, Mr. Loftus discovered, in 1843, the foundations of a temple-palace almost identical in plan with the Great Hall of Xerxes at Persepolis, and which though more ruinous than that building, has served-to complete our knowNdge of the portions there wanting. Many fragment of 'bases and capitals, like those of Persepolis, but rather richer is were also found among the ruins of Susa. Inscriptiqns on the bases of the columns record the names of Darius and Xerxes as the builders, and Artaxerxes )ferinon as the restorer of the edifice. Other names also occur. This may have been, as has been suggested, the very hall of Shushan, described in the book of Esther ; and at any rate the account there given (c. i. v. 6) of the splendour of the
fittings, the columns of marble, and the coloured marble pavement, on which were beds or thrones Of gold and silver, will serve to indicate the magnificence of the hall when in its pristine glory.
At Naksh-i-Rustarn are several tombs and sepulchral chambers hewn out of the perpendicular face of rocks. For the most part these excavations are very shallow, and consist chiefly of an architectural frontispiece or portico richly -adorned with sculpture and other decorations. The most remarkable is the Tomb of Darius, the son of Hystaspes, at the foot of 'Mount Rachmed, near the river Bendemir, the ancient Araxes. This monument has a portico of four columns, whose capitals have figures of the foreparts of animals projecting from their sides. There are also two rows of sculpture above the portico, with a figure of the king above standing opposite a fire-altar, and over all a winged deity is seen floating in the air. As already mentioned, the whole frontispiece of this tomb appears to be intended to represent the royal palace : an excellent engras nag of it is given in Coate and Flandin's Perse Ancienne.' The only example of a constructed tomb occurs at Pasargadx, where a small temple stands on the summit of a low pyramid of stone steps, around which, but at some little distance, is traceable a peristyle or colonnade : this is ascertained from the descriptions in Greek writers to be the Tomb of Cyrus.
(Sir II. K. Porter, Travels, vol. 1; Chaplin, Morin, &c.iTravela ; Hirt, Bankunst ; Flandin and Conte, Perm A ncienne ; Fergusson, Palaces of Nineveh. and Persepolis Restored ; handbook of Architecture.)