|Tomb of Darius the Great|
View of Tomb of Darius the Great in Naqsh-e Rustam
The tomb of Darius the Great (Darius I) is one of the four tombs of Achaemenid kings at the historical site of Naqsh-e Rustam located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, Iran. They are all at a considerable height above the ground.
One of the tombs is explicitly identified by an accompanying inscription to be the tomb of Darius I (r. 522-486 BC). The other three tombs are believed to be those of Xerxes I (r. 486-465 BC), Artaxerxes I (r. 465-424 BC), and Darius II (r. 423-404 BC). The fifth tomb (incomplete) might be that of Artaxerxes III (r. 358-338 BC) or the last Achaemenid king, Darius III (r. 336-330 BC). The tombs were looted following the conquest of the Achaemenid empire by Alexander the Great.
An inscription by Darius I, from c. 490 BC, generally referred to as the "DNa inscription" (Darius Naqsh-i Rostam inscription a) in scholarly works, appears in the top left corner of the facade of his tomb. It mentions the conquests of Darius I and his various achievements during his life. Its exact date is not known, but it can be assumed to be from the last decade of his reign. Like several other inscriptions by Darius, the territories controlled by the Achaemenid Empire are clearly listed.
The nationalities mentioned in the DNa inscription are also depicted on the upper registers of all the tombs at Naqsh-e Rustam, starting with the tomb of Darius I, as a group of 30 soldiers of the Empire in their native clothing and bearing weapons, supporting the platform on which the Emperor stands for his devotions to Ahuramazda. One of the best preserved friezes is that of Xerxes I.
All of the 30 soldiers on the tomb of Darius further have trilingual labels over them for their ethnic identification, known collectively as the DNe inscription (Darius Naqsh-e Rustam inscription "e") in scholarly works. One of the last rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty, Artaxerxes II (r. 404-358 BC), also uses the same labels over the soldiers depicted on his own tomb in Persepolis. These are known collectively as the "A2Pa Inscription".
The list simply goes on with the identification and naming of the ethnicity of each 30 soldier:
The nationalities of the soldiers depicted on the reliefs and mentioned in the individual labels of the DNe inscription are, from left to right: Makan, Persian, Median, Elamite, Parthian, Arian Bactrian, Sogdian, Choresmian, Zarangian, Arachosian, Sattagydian, Gandharan, Hindush (Indian), Saka (haumavarga), Saka (tigraxauda), Babylonian, Assyrian, Arab, Egyptian, Armenian, Cappadocian, Lydian, Ionian, Saka beyond the sea, Skudrian (Thracian), Macedonian, Libyan, Nubian, Carian.