A team of Iranian and Italian archaeologists have discovered the remains of a monumental gateway which Cyrus’ the Great commissioned to be built in honor of his conquest of Babylon. The structure was unearthed at Tall-e-Ajori near Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. The gateway, which was 30-40 meters wide and would have stood 12 meters high, was constructed out of mud brick. The bricks on the lower part of the walls are decorated with lotus flowers and the façade of the walls are decorated with mythical animals, and symbols. The central room inside the gateway has Babylonian and Elamite inscriptions. These inscriptions, and the carbon dating, which places construction after 539 BC, have led the archaeologists to conclude this gateway was constructed to celebrate Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Babylon, and would have been operational during the reign of his son Cambyses. The Persian conquest of Babylon (Dan. 5:31), and Cyrus the Great’s order allowing the Jews in exile to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (2 Chr 36:22-23; Ez 1:1-4) are important events recorded in Scripture and affirmed by archaeology.
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