Sattagydia was one of the easternmost regions of the Achaemenid Empire, part of its Seventh tax district according to Herodotus, along with Gandārae and Aparytae. It is believed to have been situated east of the Sulaiman Mountains up to the Indus River in the basin around Bannu; the location of Sattagydia has been subject to debate. Its association with Gandara in the 7th tax district of the Herodotus list implies that it was close to Gandara. Olmstead believed that it stretched from "the lower slopes of the Hindu Kush". Based on these considerations, two locations have been proposed: the first being "the area of the confluence of the Ghorband and Panjshir rivers in Afghanistan", the second, "the area of the middle Indus, around the modern city of Bannu". Following recent archaeological findings, the Bannu basin has become the favoured choice. David Fleming points out that it is close to Kurram and Tochi rivers and it has four routes to the west, via the Khyber Pass, the Kurram river valley, the Gomal Pass and the Bolan Pass in Balochistan.
Magee et al. have reported findings of recent archaeological excavations at Akra, noting that it was a large urban site that existed throughout the Iron Age and had trade relations with Central Asia. Sattagydia is mentioned for the first time in the Behistun inscription of Darius the Great as one of the provinces in revolt while the king was in Babylon; the revolt was suppressed in 515 BCE. The satrapy disappears from sources after 480 BCE, possible being mentioned by another name or included with other regions. After being conquered by Alexander the Great, Sattagydia became part of the Seleucid Empire. Under the Seleucids this area was adjacent to Sind, itself adjacent to Abiria, with the coastal region being called Syrastrene; the area was taken from the Seleucids by the Mauryans under Chandragupta in 316 BCE. And, beginning in the 1st century BC, the area was incorporated into the burgeoning Kushan empire, referred to as "Scythia" in the Periplus. Eggermont, Pierre Herman Leonard, Alexander's Campaigns in Sind and Baluchistan and the Siege of the Brahmin Town of Harmatelia, Peeters Publishers, ISBN 978-90-6186-037-2 Fleming, David.
"Achaemenid Sattagydia and the geography of Vivana's campaigns". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. 114: 102–112. Doi:10.1017/S0035869X00159155. ISSN 0035-869X. Magee, Peter. History of the Persian Empire, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-62777-9 "Sattygydia" Livius: Articles on Ancient History
The Indus River is one of the longest rivers in Asia. Originating in the Tibetan Plateau in the vicinity of Lake Manasarovar, the river runs a course through the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, India towards the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan and the Hindukush ranges, flows in a southerly direction along the entire length of Pakistan to merge into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi in Sindh, it is the longest river and national river of Pakistan. The river has a total drainage area exceeding 1,165,000 km2, its estimated annual flow stands at around 243 km3, twice that of the Nile River and three times that of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers combined, making it one of the largest rivers in the world in terms of annual flow. The Zanskar is its left bank tributary in Ladakh. In the plains, its left bank tributary is the Panjnad which itself has five major tributaries, the Chenab, the Ravi, the Beas, the Sutlej, its principal right bank tributaries are the Shyok, the Gilgit, the Kabul, the Gomal, the Kurram.
Beginning in a mountain spring and fed with glaciers and rivers in the Himalayas, the river supports ecosystems of temperate forests and arid countryside. The northern part of the Indus Valley, with its tributaries, forms the Punjab region, while the lower course of the Indus is known as Sindh and ends in a large delta; the river has been important to many cultures of the region. The 3rd millennium BC saw the rise of a major urban civilization of the Bronze Age. During the 2nd millennium BC, the Punjab region was mentioned in the hymns of the Hindu Rigveda as Sapta Sindhu and the Zoroastrian Avesta as Hapta Hindu. Early historical kingdoms that arose in the Indus Valley include Gandhāra, the Ror dynasty of Sauvīra; the Indus River came into the knowledge of the West early in the Classical Period, when King Darius of Persia sent his Greek subject Scylax of Caryanda to explore the river, ca. 515 BC. This river was known to the ancient Indians in Sanskrit as Sindhu and the Persians as Hindu, regarded by both of them as "the border river".
The variation between the two names is explained by the Old Iranian sound change *s > h, which occurred between 850–600 BCE according to Asko Parpola. From the Persian Achaemenid Empire, the name passed to the Greeks as Indós, it was adopted by the Romans as Indus. The meaning of Sindhu as a "large body of water, sea, or ocean" is a meaning in Classical Sanskrit. A Persian name for the river was Darya, which has the connotations of large body of water and sea. Other variants of the name Sindhu include Assyrian Sinda, Persian Ab-e-sind, Pashto Abasind, Arab Al-Sind, Chinese Sintow, Javanese Santri. India is a Greek and Latin term for "the country of the River Indus"; the region through which the river drains into sea owes its name to the river. Megasthenes' book Indica derives its name from the river's Greek name, "Indós", describes Nearchus's contemporaneous account of how Alexander the Great crossed the river; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as "Indói" meaning "the people of the Indus".
The Rigveda describes several rivers, including one named "Sindhu". The Rigvedic "Sindhu" is thought to be the present-day Indus river, it is attested 176 times in its text, 94 times in the plural, most used in the generic sense of "river". In the Rigveda, notably in the hymns, the meaning of the word is narrowed to refer to the Indus river in particular, e.g. in the list of rivers mentioned in the hymn of Nadistuti sukta. The Rigvedic hymns apply a feminine gender to all the rivers mentioned therein, except the Bramhaputra and the "Sindhu" which carry the masculine gender; this gender usage could mean that the Sindhu river was believed to be a warrior, thus one of the greatest among all the rivers in the whole world. In other languages of the region, the river is known as सिन्धु in Hindi and Nepali, سنڌو in Sindhi, سندھ in Shahmukhi Punjabi, ਸਿੰਧ ਨਦੀ in Gurmukhī Punjabi, اباسين in Pashto, نهر السند in Arabic, སེང་གེ་གཙང་པོ། in Tibetan, 印度 in Chinese, Nilab in Turki; the Indus River provides key water resources for Pakistan's economy – the breadbasket of Punjab province, which accounts for most of the nation's agricultural production, Sindh.
The word Punjab means "land of five rivers" and the five rivers are Jhelum, Ravi and Sutlej, all of which flow into the Indus. The Indus supports many heavy industries and provides the main supply of potable water in Pakistan; the ultimate source of the Indus is in Tibet. The Indus flows northwest through Ladakh and Baltistan into Gilgit, just south of the Karakoram range; the Shyok and Gilgit rivers carry glacial waters into the main river. It bends to the south and descends into the Punjab plains at Kalabagh, Pakistan; the Indus passes gigantic gorges 4,500–5,200 metres deep near the Nanga Parbat massif. It is dammed at the Tarbela Reservoir; the Kabul River joins it near Attock. The remainder of its route to the sea is in the plains of the Punjab and Sindh, where the flow of the river becomes slow and braided, it is joined by the Panjnad at Mithankot. Beyond this confluence, the river, at one tim
Old Persian cuneiform
Old Persian cuneiform is a semi-alphabetic cuneiform script, the primary script for Old Persian. Texts written in this cuneiform have been found in Iran, Romania and along the Suez Canal, they were inscriptions from the time period of Darius I, such as the DNa inscription, as well as his son, Xerxes I. Kings down to Artaxerxes III used more recent forms of the language classified as "pre-Middle Persian". Old Persian cuneiform is loosely inspired by the Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform. Scholars today agree that the Old Persian script was invented by about 525 BC to provide monument inscriptions for the Achaemenid king Darius I, to be used at Behistun. While a few Old Persian texts seem to be inscribed during the reigns of Cyrus the Great, the first Achaemenid emperor, or Arsames and Ariaramnes and great-grandfather of Darius I, all five, specially the two, are agreed to have been inscriptions. Around the time period in which Old Persian was used, nearby languages included Elamite and Akkadian. One of the main differences between the writing systems of these languages is that Old Persian is a semi-alphabet while Elamite and Akkadian were syllabic.
In addition, while Old Persian is written in a consistent semi-alphabetic system and Akkadian used borrowings from other languages, creating mixed systems. Much of the progress made in decipherment depended on the names of kings. Attempts at deciphering Old Persian cuneiform started in 1711 when some of Darius's inscriptions were published by Jean Chardin. In 1802, Friedrich Münter realized that recurring groups of characters must be the word for “king”. Georg Friedrich Grotefend extended this work by realizing a king's name is followed by “great king, king of kings” and the name of the king's father. Grotefend made a major breakthrough. In Persian history around the time period the inscriptions were expected to be made, there were only two instances where a ruler came to power without being a previous king's son, they were Darius the Cyrus the Great, both of whom became emperor by revolt. The deciding factors between these two choices were the names of their sons. Darius's father was Hystaspes and his son was Xerxes, while Cyrus' father was Cambyses I and his son was Cambyses II.
Within the text, the father and son of the king had different groups of symbols for names so Grotefend assumed that the king must have been Darius. These connections allowed Grotefend to figure out the cuneiform characters that are part of Darius, Darius's father Hystaspes, Darius's son Xerxes. Grotefend's contribution to Old Persian is unique in that he did not have comparisons between Old Persian and known languages, as opposed to the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics and the Rosetta Stone. All his decipherments were done by comparing the texts with known history. More advances were made on Grotefend's work and by 1847, most of the symbols were identified. Notable uses of Old Persian's decipherment include the decipherment of Elamite and Akkadian through the Behistun Inscription. Most scholars consider the writing system to be an independent invention because it has no obvious connections with other writing systems at the time, such as Elamite, Akkadian and Hittite cuneiforms. While Old Persian's basic strokes are similar to those found in cuneiform scripts, Old Persian texts were engraved on hard materials, so the engravers had to make cuts that imitated the forms made on clay tablets.
The signs are composed of horizontal and angled wedges. There are four basic components and new signs are created by adding wedges to these basic components; these four basic components are two parallel wedges without angle, three parallel wedges without angle, one wedge without angle and an angled wedge, two angled wedges. The script is written from left to right; the script encodes three vowels, a, i, u, twenty-two consonants, k, x, g, c, ç, j, t, θ, d, p, f, b, n, m, y, v, r, l, s, z, š, h. Old Persian contains two sets of consonants: those whose shape depends on the following vowel and those whose shape is independent of the following vowel; the consonant symbols that depend on the following vowel act like the consonants in Devanagari. Vowel diacritics are added to these consonant symbols to change the inherent vowel or add length to the inherent vowel. However, the vowel symbols are still included so would be written as though implies the vowel. For the consonants whose shape does not depend on the following vowels, the vowel signs must be used after the consonant symbol.
Compared to the Avestan alphabet Old Persian notably lacks voiced fricatives, but includes the sign ç and a sign for the non-native l. Notably, in common with the Brahmic scripts, there appears to be no distinction between a consonant followed by an a and a consonant followed by nothing. Logograms: Auramazdā:, xšāyaθiya "king": dahyāuš- "country":, baga- "god": būmiš- "earth": word divider: numerals:1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 40, 60, 120 Although based on a logo-syllabic prototype, all vowels but short /a/ are written and so the system is an alphabet. There are three vowels and short. No distinction is made for
Naqsh-e Rustam is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods. It lies a few hundred meters from Naqsh-e Rajab, with a further four Sassanid rock reliefs, three celebrating kings and one a high priest. Naqsh-e Rustam is the necropolis of the Achaemenid dynasty, with four large tombs cut high into the cliff face; these have architectural decoration, but the facades include large panels over the doorways, each similar in content, with figures of the king being invested by a god, above a zone with rows of smaller figures bearing tribute, with soldiers and officials. The three classes of figures are differentiated in size; the entrance to each tomb is at the center of each cross, which opens onto a small chamber, where the king lay in a sarcophagus. Well below the Achaemenid tombs, near ground level, are rock reliefs with large figures of Sassanian kings, some meeting gods, others in combat.
The most famous shows the Sassanian king Shapur I on horseback, with the Roman Emperor Valerian bowing to him in submission, Philip the Arab holding Shapur's horse, while the dead Emperor Gordian III, killed in battle, lies beneath it. This commemorates the Battle of Edessa in 260 AD, when Valerian became the only Roman Emperor, captured as a prisoner of war, a lasting humiliation for the Romans; the placing of these reliefs suggests the Sassanid intention to link themselves with the glories of the earlier Achaemenid Empire. The oldest relief at Naqsh-e Rustam dates back to c. 1000 BC. Though it is damaged, it depicts a faint image of a man with unusual head-gear, is thought to be Elamite in origin; the depiction is part of a larger mural, most of, removed at the command of Bahram II. The man with the unusual cap gives the site its name, Naqsh-e Rustam, because the relief was locally believed to be a depiction of the mythical hero Rustam. Four tombs belonging to Achaemenid kings are carved out of the rock face at a considerable height above the ground.
The tombs are sometimes known after the shape of the facades of the tombs. The entrance to each tomb is at the center of each cross, which opens onto a small chamber, where the king lay in a sarcophagus; the horizontal beam of each of the tomb's facades is believed to be a replica of a Persepolitan entrance. One of the tombs is explicitly identified, by an accompanying inscription, as the tomb of Darius I; the other three tombs are believed to be those of Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, Darius II respectively. The order of the tombs in Naqsh-e Rustam follows: Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I, Xerxes I; the matching of the other kings to tombs is somewhat speculative. A fifth unfinished one might be that of Artaxerxes III, who reigned at the longest two years, but is more that of Darius III, the last king of the Achaemenid Dynasts; the tombs were looted following the conquest of the Achaemenid Empire by Alexander the Great. An inscription by Darius I, from c.490 BCE referred to as the "DNa inscription" in scholarly works, appears in the top left corner of the facade of his tomb.
It mentions the conquests of his various achievements during his life. Its exact date is not known. Like several other inscriptions by Darius, the territories controlled by the Achaemenid Empire are listed, in particular the areas of the Indus and Gandhara in India, referring to the Achaemenid occupation of the Indus Valley. Ka'ba-ye Zartosht is a 5th-century B. C Achaemenid square tower; the structure is a copy of a sister building at Pasargadae, the "Prison of Solomon". It was built either by Darius I when he moved to Persepolis, by Artaxerxes II or Artaxerxes III; the building at Pasargadae is a few decades older. There are four inscriptions in three languages from the Sasanian period on the lower exterior walls, they are considered among the most important inscriptions from this period. Several theories exist regarding the purpose of the Ka'ba-ye Zartosht structure. Seven over-life sized rock reliefs at Naqsh-e Rustam depict monarchs of the Sassanid period, their approximate dates range from 225 to 310 AD, they show subjects including investiture scenes and battles.
The founder of the Sassanid Empire is seen being handed the ring of kingship by Ohrmazd. In the inscription, which bears the oldest attested use of the term Iran, Ardashir admits to betraying his pledge to Artabanus V, but legitimizes his action on the grounds that Ohrmazd had wanted him to do so; the word ērān is first attested in the inscriptions that accompany the investiture relief of Ardashir I at Naqsh-e Rustam. In this bilingual inscription, the king calls himself "Ardashir, king of kings of the Iranians"; this is the most famous of the Sassanid rock reliefs, depicts the victory of Shapur I over two Roman emperors and Philip the Arab. Behind the king stands Kirtir, the mūbadān mūbad, the most powerful of the Zoroastrian Magi dur
The Achaemenid Empire called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, the development of civil services and a large professional army; the empire's successes inspired similar systems in empires. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire.
Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time; the Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings; the impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China.
The empire set the tone for the politics and history of Iran. The term Achaemenid means "of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes". Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, a vassal of Assyria. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here....: the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Dropici, being nomadic; the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The name "Persia" is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the native word referring to the country of the people originating from Persis; the Persians were an Iranian people who arrived in what is today Iran c. 1000 BC and settled a region including north-western Iran, the Zagros Mountains and Persis alongside the native Elamites.
For a number of centuries they fell under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia. The Persians were nomadic pastoralists in the western Iranian Plateau and by 850 BC were calling themselves the Parsa and their shifting territory Parsua, for the most part localized around Persis; the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as the Medes, another group of Iranian peoples, established a short-lived empire and played a major role in the overthrow of the Assyrian. The Achaemenids were rulers of the Elamite city of Anshan near the modern city of Marvdasht. There are conflicting accounts of the identities of the earliest Kings of Anshan. According to the Cyrus Cylinder the kings of Anshan were Teispes, Cyrus I, Cambyses I and Cyrus II known as Cyrus the Great, who created the empire. In Herodotus' Histories, he writes that Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses I and Mandane of Media, the daughter of Astyages, the king of the Median Empire. Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire in 553 BC, in 550 BC succeeded in defeating the Medes, capturing Astyages and taking the Median capital city of Ecbatana.
Once in control of Ecbatana, Cyrus styled himself as the successor to Astyages and assumed control of the entire empire. By inheriting Astyages' empire, he inherited the territorial conflicts the Medes had had with both Lydia and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. King Croesus of Lydia sought to take advantage of the new international situation by advancing into what had been Median territory in Asia Minor. Cyrus led a counterattack which not only fought off Croesus' armies, but led to the capture of Sardis and the fall of the Lydian Kingdom in 546 BC. Cyrus placed Pactyes in charge of collecting tribute in Lydia and left, but once Cyrus had left Pactyes instigated a rebellion against Cyrus. Cyrus sent the Median general Mazares to deal with the rebellion, Pactyes was captured. Mazares, aft
The Behistun Inscription is a multilingual inscription and large rock relief on a cliff at Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran, established by Darius the Great. It was crucial to the decipherment of cuneiform script as the inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian and Babylonian; the inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a lost script. The inscription is 15 metres high by 25 metres wide and 100 metres up a limestone cliff from an ancient road connecting the capitals of Babylonia and Media; the Old Persian text contains 414 lines in five columns. The inscription was illustrated by a life-sized bas-relief of Darius I, the Great, holding a bow as a sign of kingship, with his left foot on the chest of a figure lying on his back before him; the supine figure is reputed to be the pretender Gaumata.
Darius is attended to the left by two servants, nine one-meter figures stand to the right, with hands tied and rope around their necks, representing conquered peoples. A Faravahar floats above. One figure appears to have been added after the others were completed, as was Darius's beard, a separate block of stone attached with iron pins and lead. After the fall of the Persian Empire's Achaemenid Dynasty and its successors, the lapse of Old Persian cuneiform writing into disuse, the nature of the inscription was forgotten, fanciful explanations became the norm. For centuries, instead of being attributed to Darius the Great, it was believed to be from the reign of Khosrau II of Persia—one of the last Sassanid kings, who lived over 1000 years after the time of Darius the Great; the inscription is mentioned by Ctesias of Cnidus, who noted its existence some time around 400 BC and mentioned a well and a garden beneath the inscription. He incorrectly concluded that the inscription had been dedicated "by Queen Semiramis of Babylon to Zeus".
Tacitus mentions it and includes a description of some of the long-lost ancillary monuments at the base of the cliff, including an altar to "Herakles". What has been recovered of them, including a statue dedicated in 148 BC, is consistent with Tacitus's description. Diodorus writes of "Bagistanon" and claims it was inscribed by Semiramis. A legend began around Mount Behistun, as written about by the Persian poet and writer Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh c. 1000, about a man named Farhad, a lover of King Khosrow's wife, Shirin. The legend states that, exiled for his transgression, Farhad was given the task of cutting away the mountain to find water. After many years and the removal of half the mountain, he did find water, but was informed by Khosrow that Shirin had died, he threw his axe down the hill, kissed the ground and died. It is told in the book of Khosrow and Shirin that his axe was made out of a pomegranate tree, where he threw the axe, a pomegranate tree grew with fruit that would cure the ill.
Shirin was not dead, according to the story, mourned upon hearing the news. In 1598, the Englishman Robert Sherley saw the inscription during a diplomatic mission to Persia on behalf of Austria, brought it to the attention of Western European scholars, his party incorrectly came to the conclusion. French General Gardanne thought it showed "Christ and his twelve apostles", Sir Robert Ker Porter thought it represented the Lost Tribes of Israel and Shalmaneser of Assyria. Italian explorer Pietro della Valle visited the inscription in the course of a pilgrimage in around 1621. German surveyor Carsten Niebuhr visited in around 1764 for Frederick V of Denmark, publishing a copy of the inscription in the account of his journeys in 1778. Niebuhr's transcriptions were used by Georg Friedrich Grotefend and others in their efforts to decipher the Old Persian cuneiform script. Grotefend had deciphered ten of the 37 symbols of Old Persian by 1802, after realizing that unlike the Semitic cuneiform scripts, Old Persian text is alphabetic and each word is separated by a vertical slanted symbol.
The Old Persian text was copied and deciphered before recovery and copying of the Elamite and Babylonian inscriptions had been attempted, which proved to be a good deciphering strategy, since Old Persian script was easier to study due to its alphabetic nature and because the language it represents had evolved via Middle Persian to the living modern Persian language dialects, was related to the Avestan language, used in the Zoroastrian book the Avesta. In 1835, Sir Henry Rawlinson, an officer of the British East India Company army assigned to the forces of the Shah of Iran, began studying the inscription in earnest; as the town of Bisotun's name was anglicized as "Behistun" at this time, the monument became known as the "Behistun Inscription". Despite its relative inaccessibility, Rawlinson was able to scale the cliff with the help of a local boy and copy the Old Persian inscription; the Elamite was across a chasm, the Babylonian four meters above. With the Persian text, with about a third of the syllabary made available to him by the work of Georg Friedrich Grotefend, Rawlinson set to work on deciphering the text.
The first section of this text contained a list of the same Pe
The DNa inscription of Achaemenid Emperor Darius I is a famous inscription from c.490 BCE which appears in the top left corner of the facade of the tomb of Darius I in Naqsh-e Rustam. The inscription mentions the conquests of Darius the Great and his various achievements during his life, its exact date is not known. Like several other inscriptions by Darius, the territories controlled by the Achaemenid Empire are listed; the nationalities mentioned in the DNa inscription are otherwise vividly illustrated through the large sculptural relief on the upper registers of all the tombs, including that of Darius I, at Naqsh-e Rustam. One of the best preserved is that of Xerxes I; the inscription is written in the Old Persian cuneiform, a nearly alphabetical, simple form of the ancient cuneiform scripts, specially designed and used by the early Achaemenid rulers from the 6th century BCE. The full inscriptions consists in two parts, the first one being related to a description of the lineage of Darius, as well as a list of the countries under his rule.
The second part is related to the cult of Ahuramazda. The DNa inscription records the various territories under the rule of Darius I