Perspolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550-330 BCE). Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. In contemporary Persian, the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid (Throne of Jamshid).
The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BCE.To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Parsa, which means "The City of Persians". UNESCO declared the citadel of Perspolis a World Heritage Site in 1979. Archaeological evidence shows that the earliest remains of Perspolis date from around 515 BC.
Andre Godard, the French archaeologist who excavated Perspolis in the early 1930s, believed that it was Cyrus the Great (Kurosh) who chose the site of Perspolis, but that it was Darius the Great who built the terrace and the great palaces.
Persepolis is near the small river Pulwar, which flows into the river Kur (Kyrus). The site includes a 125,000 square meter terrace, partly artificially constructed and partly cut out of a mountain, with its east side leaning on Kuh-e Rahmet ("the Mountain of Mercy").
Ruins of a number of colossal buildings exist on the terrace. All are constructed of dark-grey marble. Fifteen of their pillars stand intact. Three more pillars have been re-erected since 1970. Several of the buildings were never finished. F. Stolze has shown that some of the mason's rubbish remains.