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Asia > Middle East > Iran > Western Iran > Khuzestan > Shush (Iran)

Shush (Iran)

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Shush is in Khuzestan.



Susa was one of the political, economic and cultural centres of Elam, Anshan and almost the entire Near Eastern world. Based on archaeological data, the early settlement of humans in this area dates back to 7000 years ago. However, Susa became the centre of Elam Civilization in 2400 BCE. From this date, the history of Susa is divided into three phases: Paleo-Elamite, Meso-Elamite and Neo-Elamite, each phase having its own cultural, artistic, and industrial features. Later, in 640 B.C, Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian king, attacked Elam and destroyed Susa. As a result of this attack, Elam lost its previous glory, turning into a state ruled by the Achaemenids.

The construction of Susa and Persepolis, two Achaemenid dynasties, occurred almost at the same time and Persepolis became the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid dynasty. Susa was chosen by Darius as an administrative capital of Achaemenids due to its geographical position, its splendid history and its closeness to Mesopotamian areas. Therefore, Darius was the first Achaemenid king who designated Susa as his royal residence. Although, during the two centuries of Achaemenid Empire, Susa remained their most important administrative center, later in the Seleucid era, it lost its function as the administrative capital; however, it remained a prosperous regional centre.  Later in the early Sassanid era (224-651), Susa became one of the economic trading centers of the Sassanian Empire. However, during the reign of Shapur II (310-379), Susa lost its prosperity due to the several attacks by Romans. The only noticeable remaining from the Sassanid era is a large building including a columned hall and three corridors. The highlights of this clay building were its frescoes, bearing the hunting scenes, which were installed on the wall of the columned hall.


Geographically, Susa is located near the three rivers of Dez, Tigris and Shaur. It was surrounded by rich lands where agriculture, hunting and animal breeding were vastly practised. Susa started its city life about 4000 years ago. In the city of the Elamite era, three sections are identified, including: the Acropolis, the Royal city and the living quarter. However, the information about the city in the Achaemenid era is only limited to the royal part of the city.

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