Sunday, 1 November 2009

Susa and Choqa Zanbil

Monday 2 November: Early local bus from Ahvez to Shush (biblical Susa) and the grubby overpriced Apadana Hotel. Not much to see in town apart from the 'castle', built by the French to protect their archaeologists against hostile tribesmen and the pine-cone shaped dome of Daniel's tomb.
The real delight and reason for visiting the area is the red brick-built Choqa Zanbil ziggurat UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built before 7th century BC it's the world's oldest example of Elamite architecture. Only the base and lower levels remain of the original five storeys but the outer kiln-fired bricks appear new with legible cuneiform inscriptions, the world's first written alphabet.

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