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152) maintain that it was built as the site for celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year festival.

Others (notably Nylander, 1974; Calmeyer, 1980; Mousavi, p.

153-61 and passim), or a political, economic, and administrative center of the empire, or an observatory for correcting time-reckoning systems.

But Darius himself specifies that he was building a stronghold, not a political center (see below), and the case for considering Persepolis as the site of the Nowruz festival cannot be taken lightly (see Shahbazi, 2003).

It was believed that, upon the building of the palace, he established the greatest Iranian festival, Nowruz or New Year’s Day, at the spring equinox.

Today the attribution is abandoned, but the name Construction started with the leveling and terracing of the promontory.

It was called after the name borne both by the province Pārsa (Fārs, Gk.