Hagmatana, Hamadan.Hagmatana, Hamadan.
Before going into a description of the historical monuments of Hamadan, and regarding the towns rather prolonged history, the reader is reminded of two hills on which some of the most ancient remains can be seen even toDay, however not that much interesting: 1) Hagmatana Hill, with ruins of the walls and ramparts of the Median and Achaemenian periods. Located in Ekbatan Street (north of Ekbatan Square), which is presently under archaeological excavations and 2) Mosalla Hill (now a park), situated in the east of Ayatollah Mofatteh Avenue, which is said to be the ancient site of Anahita Temple. According to some archaeologists, the site had been a Parthian stronghold, the remains of which could be seen until a few years ago, with parts of its ramparts visible even toDay.
The ruins of ancient Hagmatana, on the site of which the present Hamadan stands, date from the period of Median monarchs (7th and early 6th centuries BC) who had made the city their capital. Hagmatana was further developed under the Achaemenian and Parthian rulers and was known as the first capital of the ancient Persian Empire. Scientific excavations and accidental diggings for construction works have resulted in the discovery of numerous objects, including some gold and silver tablets, in the region. This indicates that the treasury of the Achaemenian monarchs was kept in Hagmatana and that the present Hamadan has been constructed upon a part of the site of the ancient city. In the old Sar Qaleh, Qaleh Shah, and Darab quarters, one could see the remains of a thick wall that once enclosed the Achaemenian Darius palace (521-486 BC). Some traces of the Haft Hissar Palace and the historic ancient rampart, sparsely found in the old citadel of Hamatana bear witness to the grandeur of this capital of the Median and the Achaemenian periods. However, an adequate appreciation of this grandeur will only be possible when systematic scientific excavations are carried out in this area. So far, the discovery of the heads of a stone statue in the hillock Mosalla has proved the earlier existence of an Ashkanian fort on that hill. At all events, Hagmatana has been one of the important military centers of the Sassanian period and has retained the same position in the Islamic era. There exists ample evidence in the history of Islamic period concerning its prosperity.
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