A large number of monuments, buildings, rock reliefs, inscriptions, and collections of coins and manuscripts have formed our present image of Sasanian history and culture. The history of the Sasanian empire can be easily written and understood without having resort to archaeological fieldwork. In this regard, the best example is Arthur Christensen’s history of the Sasanians, l’Iran sous les Sassanides, which was published in 1936 in Copenhagen, a masterpiece that has always been an indispensable source of information for historians and archaeologists. In contrast, the investigation of material culture in the Sasanian period essentially depends on archaeological remains and artifacts.
Sarvestān is a township en route from Shirāz to Dārāb. This township serves as the first reststop along the route from Shirāz to eastern Fārs, some 65 km to the east of Shirāz. Both Shirāz and Sarvestān are located in one the more fertile NW‐SE plains in the southern Zagros Mountains. The large Mahārlou Lake (also known as the “Salt Lake”) is located in the middle of this plain. The water from streams in Shiraz flow into the northern parts of the latter lake. The Mahārlou Lake divides the plain into two northern and southern parts. The city of Shirāz is located in the northern half and the township of Sarvestān in the southern part, some 20 km to the southeast of the Lake.
The fall of the Achaemenid Empire at the hands of Alexander of Macedonia involved destructive consequences for the Province of Fars. As the homeland of the Achaemenids, Fars was of special significance and suffered repeated attacks from Alexander and his successors. The Achaemenid capital and royal palaces were burnt to the ground and those of princely rank were scattered. At the same time the particular geographical position of “Pārs” was an obstacle to the unimpeded power of Alexander and his replacements. Although the northern strip of the province was under the direct rule of the Selucids, historical evidence indicates that in the third century before Christ, regional power-brokers in the south of Pārs gained a relative degree of independence.
Markings on Rocks from the Sasanian Period at Behistun (سنگھای تراش خورده و نشان حجاران دورۀ ساسانی در محوطه پارتی بيستون)
بخشي از مجموعه تاريخي فرھنگي بيستون در برگيرندۀ مجموعهاي كم نظير از بقاياي بناھاي گوناگون دورۀ ساساني و مصالح پراكندۀ وابسته به آنھاست. قسمتھايي از مجموعه شامل كارگاهھاي عظيم سنگتراشي و پراكندگي قابل توجھي از سنگھاي مكعب مستطيل تراش خورده است. اغلب اين سنگھا دارای علائم مختلف است که در سطح صاف شدۀ سنگ حک شدهاند