Naqsh-e Rajab can be a convenient stop on the way to Persepolis and Naqsh-e Rostam. Although the site is very small, it contains four important Sassanid bas-reliefs, carved into three sides of a grotto-like bay at the foot of the Mountain of Mercy. The monumental character of Sasanid bas-reliefs is best exemplified in these early sculptures.
The platform of Persepolis was strongly fortified. On the south and west, it was protected by two stone ramparts, which rose several meters above the ground. On the north and east, the fortifications were of mud-brick and included several defensive tiers. They included a very thick foundation wall, which at some points reached a width of 19 m and was composed of a number of parallel ramparts, space between which was filled with sand and rubble.
What is today known as the Army Street stretches from the east door of the Gate of All Lands to the north courtyard of the Hall of a Hundred Columns? It is 92 m long and about 10 m wide. It was bordered by thick mud-brick walls, of which only low bases remain. At regular intervals of about 7 m, these walls were marked by stepped niches, where the guards might have stood on ceremonial occasions.
To the northeast and southeast of the platform, at a height of about 40 m above its level, two tombs are cut out of the rock. They are considered to be those of Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III, although no one knows which tomb belongs to which king. The layout and artistic treatment of the mausoleums are almost identical to the royal graves in Naqsh-e Rostam.
Hall of a Hundred Columns
The main part of the building - the second largest after the Apadana was occupied by a square central hallo with each side measuring 68.5 m. This hall was supported by one hundred columns about 14 m high-hence the appellation of the palace. The columns consisted of a | bell-shaped base; a discoid torus; a fluted, cylindrical shaft; and a double-bull capital.