Naqsh-e Rajab (Shiraz)
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Naqsh-e Rajab
The best way to find Naqsh-e Rajab is: stop at the intersection of Shiraz-Esfahan and the Naqsh-e Rostam highway. Go 50 meters to the left, or in the direction of Esfahan. Look to the right and you will see about 50 meters off the road a recess in the rock in which carved figures can be seen. Opposite and a little further towards Esfahan are some mud-wall ruins of an old caravansary, probably 17th century .
Entering the reiiess three large carvings will be found. On the right an equestrian investiture scene, and on the left a relief of Shapur surrounded by his generals.
On the latter relief notice the different insignia on the hats of the generals (the clearest, a trefoil sword in a circle, resembles a common Chinese symbol) as well as the variety of cloth and chest buckles. They are arranged in similar fashion as regimental numbers and rank of present-day army detachments. The field signs with tassels are again present.
On the chest of Shapur's horse is a clearly legible Greek inscription relating his ancestry and hailing him as emperor of the Aryans.




The most important document on this site, however, is the carving of the high priest Karter, Mobad-e Mobadan (Priest of Priests) under three Sassanian emperors: Shapur, Bahram I and II. His head can be seen just behind and above the pedestrian investiture scene, partially covered by branches of a green bush. He has a necklace and his crooked worshipping finger is covered by a Pahlavi inscription of greatest importance. Here it is related  how he as high priest has purified religion and cleansed the land of heresy (probably the Manichaeans) with fire and sword. He is the only non-royal person appearing on a carving, a significant sign of the impending religious crisis, which continued throughout Sassanian rule. The central relief shows a procession moving in the direction of a previous water source, which is now dried-up. The center is occupi~d by the usual investiture scene, showing Ardeshir I receiving the wreath of power from the god Horrnuzd. The crown prince stands beneath the wreath, a symbolism used with each new line of succession.
There is also a pedestrian investiture scene of Shapur with an angel facing the ravine, possibly the source of water. Another site consisting of a foundation for a tower similar to the Ka'be Zardusht at Naqsh-e Rostam can be seen opposite Naqsh-e Rajab. It consists of a heap of stones straight south of Naqsh-e Rajab, 300 meters across the Naqsh-e Rostam highway. It is situated above the J.eft bank of the Pulvar River, 300 meters downstream from the modern highway bridge. Just below the modern bridge, about 100 meters down river, is a small stone bridge in Achaemenian style.


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