The ancient city of Susa, the Biblical city of Shushan, Elamites city of Susan or Susun and now the modern Iranian city of Shush, has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2015. About 117 Km from capital city of Ahvaz, the lower Zagros mountain range is home to a group of artificial archaeological mounds rising on the eastern side of the Shavur River. We can trace the city back as early as late 5th century BCE. Since then shush (Susa) has been continuously a perfect place for urban settlements until the 13th century CE. It used to be an important center; mostly with religious purpose together with an exceptional position on the trade route of silk and spice.
As long as the city’s historical role matters, Shush belonged to different empires such as Elamite, Persian and Parthian. It not only was a sacred place to worship goddess of love, fertility and warfare; but was the winter residence of Persian kings. Whatever we know about the site is owing to revelations based on the artifacts excavated. Findings include carved cylinder seals, jewelry, clay balls and clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions; recording business transactions, political history and mathematical calculations.
Prophet Danial Tomb in Susa
An unusual white conical dome, you can’t see something similar anywhere else in Iran, may draw your attention soon after entering the city. A tomb known as Shush Daniel has been a sacred place among Jews as well as Muslims for centuries.
Due to its strategic position along ancient trade route, Susa not only was religiously important but soon became a commercial, administrative and political hub. Shush connected two great ancient civilizations, the Mesopotamian and the Iranian plateau.
This long-lasting prosperity didn’t last finally and Alexander the great initiated the city’s decline. After a riot, they burnt the city to the ground.