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Taq-e Bostan and its Love stories

Taq-e Bostan is one of the world's historical masterpieces and the first stone animation in the world in western Persia.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Introduction to Taq-e Bostan

Taq-e Bostan is one of the world’s historical masterpieces and the first stone animation in the world in western Persia, which is located in the heart of the Prav Mountains and is one of the most important and valuable written documents of antiquity. Reliefs and designs and carvings on stone are a symbol of the history of the Sassanid era.

Taq-e Bostan was built in the third century AD. These carvings and lithographs represent the greatness and glory of ancient Persian art because not only do they show the coronation and worship of Ahura Mazda and respect for the position of the clergy, but they also narrate arts such as architecture, sculpture, Plastering, landscaping, murals, etc. All the visual elements and mysteries in the language of stone are gathered in this historical monument. By using art, kings tried to show their glory not only to their people but to all of history. They engraved these narrations on the top of a mountain and a rock so that any passer-by could see it.

History of ‌Bostan Arch

The Sassanid kings in the first years of ruling in this land chose the areas around Persepolis to carve their statues, but Ardashir II and the kings after him chose the Bostan arch, which was located in the middle of the Silk Road and had a green, and delightful nature. In their view, that place could be a place to record their narrations, as well as a suitable area for entertainment and hunting of Sassanid kings.

At the foot of the arches of this collection, we see the mirage of the Bostan arch and the lithographs, each of which tells an interesting historical narration. Bostan arch consists of stone carvings and carvings of the coronation of Ardashir II in two arches. In the smaller vault, the images of Shahpour II and III, and in the major cupola, the portrait of Khosrow Parviz have been carved with such artistic taste. On the right side of the smaller arch and outside of it, there is a stone painting that shows the coronation of Ardashir II. Also, the existence of a spring, which is called Sarav in the local language of Kermanshah, and Taq-e-Bostan mountain has turned this complex into a unique promenade.

Inscription of the coronation of Ardashir II

The first reliefs made in these historical monuments belong to the time of the coronation of Ardashir II, which depicts the accession to the throne and the coronation of the ninth king of the Sassanid dynasty in the 4th century AD. The image shows the messengers of Ahuramazda, Ardashir II, and Zarathustra, respectively, from the right side. The king had large eyes, thick eyebrows, a beard, and thick hair that reached to his shoulders.

Large arch in Taq-e Bostan

The large arch has delicately carved images that consist of several parts. At the entrance of the vault, delightful petroglyphs are depicting winged angels, the tree of life, part of bird and boar hunting scenes, swamp fishing, carved figures of animals such as elephants, horses, as well as shapes of various boats. All of them show a celebration of the Sassanid kings, which has been well turned into a magnificent art and work by tasteful Persian masters. In the wall behind this arch, two prominent images related to the hunting scene can be seen; Deer and boar hunting scenes, each of which includes spectacular details.

In this arch, there is a picture of Khosrow Parviz’s coronation. In this carving, Khosrow Parviz is in the middle of the image, with Faravahar on his right side, and Anahita on his left and fertility that each presents something to the king. Below these images, you can see a person on horseback carved by the builders of the arch in a surprisingly natural way.

Another magnificent role that can be seen in this building is the “role of the rider. This petroglyph shows a horseman riding a large horse while wearing armor and a hat. It is not clear who the rider is, or a warrior, or Khosrow Parviz, or a Sassanid victor, but archaeologists believe that the person is riding Khosrow Parviz. Historians consider the purpose of this sculpture to be a display of combat ability, a symbol of the Sassanid army, a symbol of the oven and power of the Shah of Persia, as well as their wealth in hunting.

Small arch in Taq-e Bostan

In this part of the historical collection, we come across two stone inscriptions, inscribed in Pahlavi script, on its sides. At the end of the cave, there is a relief of two people depicting Shapur II and Shapur III. The inscriptions mentioned in the Pahlavi script tell the story of the images. It is believed that there used to be a carpet of jewels on the floor of the Taq-e Bostan. It was distributed among Arab commanders during the Arab invasion.

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