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Naqsh-e Rajab



Naqsh-e Rajab is an archaeological site just east of Istakhr and about 12 km north of Persepolis in Fars Province, Iran. Together with Naqsh-e Rustam, which lies less than a kilometer away, the site is part of the Marvdasht cultural complex. Naqsh-e Rajab is the site of four limestone rock face inscriptions and bas-reliefs that date to the early Sassanid era.













One of the carvings is the investiture inscription of Ardeshir I by Ahuramazda (r. 226 – 241). Both are depicted as standing, and the king receives the diadem ring of sovereignty from the hand of God, Ahuramazda. Between them are two figures shown on small scale. One is Prince Bahram Ardeshir's grandson; the other is Izad Bahram, the Iranian divinity of warriors, who appears in the Hellenistic guise as Heracles. Behind the king stand a senior official with a fly whisk and Prince Shapur, the hier to the throne. The second investiture inscription is Ardeshir's successor, Shapur I by Ahuramazda (r. 241 – 272). Both of them are on the horseback, and the king receives the diadem ring of kingship from Ahuramazda. The relief is badly damaged but its workmanship is superb. He is surrounded by his generals. Look for Greek inscription on the chest of Shapur's horse relating to his ancestry and him as an emperor of the Aryans.









 A third bas-relief, known as 'Shapur's Parade', celebrates the king's military victory in 244 over the Roman emperor Valerian and Philip the Arab. A fourth bas-relief and the most important part of this site is the carving of the high Zoroastrian priest Karter, Mobad-e Mobadan (Priest of Priests) under three Sassanian emperors  Shapur I and his sons Hormizd I (r. 272 – 273) and Bahram I (r. 273 – 276). He was responsible for setting up a religious state under the Sassanian. The inscriptions relate the events in his life, his rise through the clerical hierarchy and his attacks on heretic religions. He is the only non-royal person appearing on a carving.