Achaemenid Structures > Farhad Tarash

Farhad Tarash


Farhād Tarāsh is a long smoothed rock surface on the Mount Behistun from ancient Persia. It is located near the Behistun Inscription. Its height is around 36 meters and its width is around 200 meters. The work is registered as a national heritage in Iran. The actual date of the work is not known. Some scholars including Ernst Herzfeld believed that it was carved by Darius the Great and that he planned to write his will on it. Others such as Jackson have suggested that Darius carved this place in order to write an account of his wars and campaigns. It is also suggested that this work is carved by Khosrow II in order to record an important historical event. Recently, the scholars have suggested that it was just a stone mine.

There's a famous story in Persian literature about a sculptor named Farhad who falls in love with a girl named Shirin. But Shirin is already in love with Khosrow II, the king of Persia. Khosrow tricks Farhad to carve a stair in a mountain and tells him if he managed to do so, Khosrow will withdraw from Shirin. Farhad tries hard by day and night in the hope that Khosrow let him to marry Shirin. Finally, Farhad builds the stair successfully, nonetheless, Khosrow sends a messenger to Farhad and gives him a false news of Shirin's death. Farhad believes this false news and dies of Shirin's love. The legend is mentioned in Nizami Ganjavi's Khosrow and Shirin. Local beliefs relate this story to Farhād Tarāsh, and the carving is actually named after this story (which literally means "carved by Farhad").

Achaemenid Empire

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