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Persepolis, Iran

Persepolis, Iran, was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BCE. UNESCO declared the citadel of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.

Odoric of Pordenone passed through Persepolis c.1320 on his way to China. In 1474, Giosafat Barbaro visited the ruins of Persepolis, which he incorrectly thought were of Jewish origin.

Persepolitan architecture is noted for its use of wooden columns. Architects resorted to stone only when the largest cedars of Lebanon or teak trees of India did not fulfil the required sizes. Column bases and capitals were made of stone, even on wooden shafts, but the existence of wooden capitals is probable.

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