UNESCO-designated Persepolis launches UAV documentation

Authorities of Persepolis have launched an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) documentation project to help study and analyze the neighboring lands and properties, which encircle the UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Iran.


“A documentation project has been commenced on the closest boundaries of Persepolis to gather needed information to monitor possible changes and interventions in this area,” said Hamid Fadaei, the director of the World Heritage site.

The first purpose of this documentary is to prepare a cadastral map of agricultural lands in the first-grade boundaries of Persepolis, and the second purpose is to record the current status of historical monuments, including historical sites and hills that are dotted in that area, Fadaei explained.

“In that regard, we operate close-range photogrammetry and UAV in the documentation of architecture monuments…..And the project is expected to become to an end by the yearend (March 20, 2022),” the official noted.

Persepolis, also known as Takht-e Jamshid, whose magnificent ruins rest at the foot of Kuh-e Rahmat (Mountain of Mercy) is situated 60 kilometers northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars province. It was the seat of the government of the Achaemenid Empire, though it was designed primarily to be a showplace and spectacular center for the receptions and festivals of the kings and their empire.

Persepolis ranks among the archaeological sites which have no equivalent, considering its unique architecture, urban planning, construction technology, and art. This 13-ha ensemble of majestic approaches, monumental stairways, throne rooms (Apadana), reception rooms, and dependencies is classified among the world’s greatest archaeological sites. The city’s immense terrace was begun about 518 BC by Darius the Great, the Achaemenid Empire’s king. On this terrace, successive kings erected a series of architecturally stunning palatial buildings, among them the massive Apadana palace and the Throne Hall (“Hundred-Column Hall”).

According to Britannica, the stone was cut with the utmost precision into blocks of great size, which were laid without mortar; many of them are still in place. Especially striking are the huge columns, 13 of which still stand in the audience hall of Darius I (the Great; reigned 522–486 BC), known as the Apadana, the name given to a similar hall built by Darius at Susa. There are two more columns still standing in the entrance hall of the Gate of Xerxes, and a third has been assembled there from its broken pieces.

Narratives say that Persepolis was burnt by Alexander the Great in 330 BC apparently as revenge to the Persians because it seems the Persian King Xerxes had burnt the Greek City of Athens around 150 years earlier.