Persepolis has been often recognised as Old Persian P%u0101rsa. For many critics it is the Takht-e Jamshid and for others it is identified as Chehel Minar. Here this ceremonial capital of Achaemenid Empire during ca. 550 to 330 BCE will be mentioned as Persepolis. It was in 1979 that this historical existence gets declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its importance in Iran on historical ground is equally maintained by the contemporary critics. Persepolis has got the grounds of being a very strong contender to the destructive historical incidents and is very stagnant in maintaining its dignified position in the pages of Iranian history. For many archaeological experts, Persepolis is a very contemporary existence as it delivers the lifestyles and spiritual believes of Iranian population with great specifications. With hype in the field of global recognition, this region also faced innumerable critical assessments along with critical appraisals from different critics from different socio-political domains.
In this paper, special emphasis has been led over an illustrated description about Persepolis. These illustrations are an amalgamated realisation of the declarations made by Gelvin and some of the relevant articles. Further, the paper looks into the importance of Persepolis as narrative of Iranian History. The interconnectivity with Iranian history has been analysed with reference to the socio-cultural importance of Persepolis in Iran. There is an additional look through, into the application of Satrapi link; in context to the subjects related to "women" and practices transmitted through "religion" in Iran. The social, historical and political concepts are analysed critically to discover the participation of Persepolis for a developed infrastructural entity within the state.
Illustrations about the existence of Pertsepolis have been well explored by James Gelvin, an American scholar, specialised in Middle Eastern history. Specific attempt of Gelvin provided Persepolis with a widespread recognition on global basis, especially in context to a comprehensive illustration of Iranian historical existence. His declarations are more about nationalism and related relevant social as well as cultural expeditions into the history of modern Middle East, and Iran in particular. For Persepolis, Gelvin was very specific in declaring that Persepolis is a monumental construction that represents the modern outlook and foresightedness among the Iranians. It shows the modern archeologically attempt of Iranians and the scientific expeditions added by them for a futuristic recognition (2004).
Apart from Gelvin, many contributors were interrelated to the recognition of Persepolis as an integral part of Iranian history. The foremost in this list is Ernst Herzfeld and his partner Erich F Schmidt for an encouraged scientific excavation about Persepolis. These scholars believed that the role of Persepolis is very important for the declaration of the majestic historical entity of Iran. The proceedings of managing loyal and sophisticated history of Iran get well represented by Persepolis. A landmark to Iranian culture, Persepolis is a construction that was initiated during Achaemenid Dynasty (Jensen, 2008). The research led by Herzfeld and Schmidt discovers the multi facet developmental structure of Persepolis and its dignity for representing the respective dynasty. In modern scenario, the understanding of Iranian historical entity gets symbolized by this mighty archaeological structure. Identification of Persepolitan architecture has been noted well by Gelvin, Herzfeld and Schmidt, due to the use of wooden columns in the process of construction. The modern architects resort the utilisation of largest cedars from the grounds of Lebanon along with the use of teak trees from India. However, there are diversified point of views and very eminent declarations against these choices. The use of stones and wood shafts are very peculiar in Persepolis and gets well recognised by the modern architects as an innovative artisanship during the sessions of Achaemenid Dynasty (Burke and Yaghoubian, edt. 2003). The peculiar conditions of buildings are are marked by their constructive structures in addition to archaeological infrastructure of Persepolis. In general, these constructions are inclusive of three specific groupings. These groupings are termed as military quarters, followed by the constructive zones of the treasury and the provisions for reception halls. There are also the marks of occasional houses for the royal families and Kings. Al these noted infrastructural engineering were very modern in approach and were much illustrated by the examplenary structures of Gate of Nations (especially the Xerxes the Great), Great Stairway, Apadana Palace of Darius, Tripylon Hall, Hall of a Hundred Columns and Tachara Palace of Darius. Further remarkable modern engineering were realised through the structures of the Royal Stables, Hadish Palace of Xerxes, Imperial Treasury, Palace of Artaxerxes III and most popular Chariot House. These archaeological structures made Persepolis a majestic and glorious entity down the ages. Added to these monumental structures there are different documental evidences developed by different scholars for a comprehensive representation of Persepolis as an integral part of Iranian history (Harper, et.al 1984). These are mostly considered as narrative representations and are much authenticated by the contributions led by authors like Gelvin, Herzfeld and Schmidt, Satrapi and many others to follow.
Persepolis and Iranian History
There cannot be a second though regarding the historical representation initiated by Persepolis for identifying the archaeological construction of Iran in particular. Persepolis is definitely a very strong monumental entity for being the narrative of Iranian history. These narrative representations are marked from the primitive time of barbaric destructions of Iran to the phases of A.D. 1620. The transformations and revolutionary destructive modulations of Iran affected Persepolis severely. It got highly terminated and destructed by the events of historical conflicts. Sooner Persepolis started getting tagged as the ruins and reminiscent constructional site Achaemenid palaces (Curzon 1892). Curzon discovered the scientific and significantly technical modes of restructuring Persepolis and appreciated it as a unique historical addition to Iranian socio-cultural developmental proceedings. Herzfeld (1932) on the other hand, came up with the interrelated context of identifying the psychological and lifestyles of people of Iran in historical context. He acclaimed the reflections of Persepolis in maintaining the dignity of Iranian individualistic approach in global periphery. Followed by Herzfeld the new in charge onsite expedition was Schmidt. According to the research developed by Schmidt (1953 and 1957), Persepolis should get identified as a monumental structure that adds innumerable ideals and innovative suggestions to the modern engineering interventions. Efforts led by Herzfeld and Schmidt fixed the fact that it was Darius the Great who is the soul authoritative founder and ruler for the establishment of Persepolis. This fact has been marked genuine by a discovery led through the identification of inscriptions that are carved on the southern elevation of Terrace. Remains of large and huge scale of determined excavations of Persepolis get recognised as complex and with reliable environs. Iran in this reference gets the mark of being identified as a nation that encourages craft. This craft, however, is no innocent to the lifestyles of Iranian community, but a complex declaration of the modern geographical entity with special reference to the mental and spiritual believes undertaken by the population. The historical and ritualistic interventions of believing in human existence and the power of Almighty get well depicted through the constructional specifications of Persepolis. The huge monumental structures are so carved that there are resemblances marked for understanding the religious and spiritual units of the Iranian population.
The tablets that are inscribed under the dominance of Old Persian regions along with Elamite of Persepolis, showed the ruling phenomenal infrastructure of Darius. His planned and very systematic means of managing and ruling the region gets well depicted through these inscriptions. In a way, the inscribed evidences are the rigid narrative documents for describing not only the glory of Iran but also the factors that made the state so glorious and magnificent. These inscriptions are also the sources for elaborating the lifestyles, religious believers and spiritual modes of lives of Iranian people. They provide a mirror image of primitive Iranian social, political and cultural structure. Largely there seems to be hardly any different in the modern and the primitive valuation of religious and spiritual structures of Iran and Iranian population and thus it will be appropriate to cal Persepolis as a narrative representation of Iranian history.
The Satrapi Link
Iranian culture has been often questioned for its treatments towards women and religion. There are instances when the Iranian crowd could not explain how it rates women in its society and whether there is any solution to the protocols maintained by the Iranian society for its women counterparts. These are some threads, that get interwoven by Marjane Satrapi for comprehending Persepolis on the themes of gender inequalities and the context of following religion. Satrapi in her expeditions for identifying the theme of Iranian cultural and social context; adds the importance of historical and social-political declarations made by Persepolis (2004). Satrapi came up with her autobiographical declarations in depicting her childhood amidst the confusions and political suppressions of Iranian socio-cultural construction. The attempts of Satrapi were very genuine and pragmatic in nature. There are narrative contextualises in managing with the diversified declarations about personal experiences on the one hand and Iranian political scenario on the other. Special references were drawn about the historical destructive instances, with special emphasis over the Islamic revolution in the ancient capital of Persian Empire that is Persepolis.
The entire narrative context initiated by Satrapi is very graphic in structure and releases the determined narrative constructions. It is through the persuasion of narrations for personal experiences and an amalgamated series of historical events that Satrapi tries to find the ground for justifying the interconnectivity between the current populations of Iran and its historical valuations counted under the phases of transformation developed through the representations led by Persepolis. Elaborate descriptions of Persepolis in reference to the religious and political status during the war between Iran and Iraq have been well established by Satrapi. Persepolis, the narrative art by Satrapi depicts her childhood in the regions of Iran and Persepolis in particular. To this context, she further adds her high school life at Vienna and Austraia. The approaches were however relevant to the experiences and the ideological concerns that the author has collected in her childhood at Persepolis.
From the narrative elaborations of Satrapi, it has been well realised that the author tries to establish her feelings and some of the unequal statuses recommended for women in the grounds of Iran. With a very bold approach, the author describes the situational context of restricting women in the Iranian grounds as against any other country of the world. To be more specific it will be appropriate to refer to the declarations made by Marandi (2008) about the narrative illustrations of Satrapi. Marandi is very critical in his analytical purview and for him Persepolis has got an interwoven status of aims and futuristic projections. These grounds are further militating against accuracy and the determined representation of historical entities of women and religion in Iran. He further adds the contextual declarations of Satrapi as a common approach like that of Azar Nafisi, and looks into the constant confirmations of orientalistic representations of Iranian Muslim society by Satrapi. The rigidness and backwardness of Muslims and the followers of Islamic ideologies has been misleadingly depicted in this matter. Marandi thus is very reluctant to accept the comparative grounds of providing inferior status to women in reference to Persepolis by Satrapi.
Eventually, the paper can be concluded on the note that the representations led by Persepolis are very integral to the glory of Iranian civilization. It can be well declared that to understand the social, political and cultural constructions and the modes of reconstructions of Iranian historical ventures, it is very necessary to go through the inscriptions led by Persepolis. The declarations made by Gelvin, Herzfeld and Schmidt are very much core to the developmental structure of Iranian civilisation. On the other hand, the Satrapi link of illustrating the inferior conditions of women and religious barbarism seems to be inappropriate to the constructional entity of Persepolis. The approaches led by Satrapi are though declared as practical, yet are more or less about the Iranian society in general. This author looks into the social construction of Iran in general. Her references to the conditions of women and Muslim believers are generalised in the name of Persepolis. Though Satrapi adds authentic declarations through her experiences, yet when it comes to the sole concern of Persepolis, the declarations made by Gelvin, Herzfeld and Schmidt seem to be more authentic and relevant. Thus, it will be more appropriate to concentrate over the narrative declarations made Gelvin, Herzfeld and Schmidt rather than getting into the expressions led by Satrapi in reference to the historical entity of Persepolis.