Iran (commonly known as Persia) is home to one of the world’s oldest major civilizations with settlements dating back to 7000 BC. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Parsa” was the name of an Indo-European nomadic people who migrated into the region about 1000 BC. But after the Achaemenid Empire, the use of the name “Persia” was extended to apply to the whole Iranian plateau.
Tepe Sialk is an ancient archeological site with the oldest traces of settlement in Central Iran which dating back to around 5500 BC.
Here are the brief List of Iranian dynasties:
- The Elamites (capital city: Susa)
- The Medes (capital: Hamedan)
- The Achaemenids (capital: Persepolis & Pasargadae)
- Seleucid Empire
- The Parthians
- The Sassanians
- The Seljuks (capital: Neyshabur)
- Ilkhanid period (capital: Maragheh)
- Timurid Empire
- The Safavids (capital: Isfahan)
- The Afsharid dynasty (capital: Mashhad)
- The Zand dynasty (capital: Shiraz)
- The Qajar dynasty (capital: Tehran)
- The Pahlavi dynasty (capital: Tehran)
-----------(Iran Revolution in 1979)-----------
- Islamic Republic of Iran (capital: Tehran)
It was the Medes that unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Achaemenid Empire (560-330 BC) which founded by Cyprus the Great, was the first Persian Empire and it was the largest empire yet seen and the first world empire. It was the only civilization in all of history to connect over 40% of the world’s population (about 50 million out of 112 million people).
The Tomb of Cyrus the Great
They were succeeded by the Seleucid, Parthian and Sassanid Empires. The Muslim conquest of Persia ended the Sassanid Empire, it was a turning point in Iranian history, leading to the decline of Zoroastrianism. Iran was reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid dynasty, which set Shia Islam as the official religion. And after Iran Revolution, this country officially became an Islamic republic in 1979.