Photo credit: Darafsh Kaviyani (CC BY-SA 3.0) Wikimedia Commons.
Post 25 – Shushan the Citadel, the palace of the Persian King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) this week in #weeklybiblereadingarcheology. This site is located on the edge of the Iranian city of Shush. It was excavated beginning in the 1890’s right through to the 1960’s. The foundations that you can see were largely built up in modern times to help visitors see the layout of the palace. You can see for yourself the features of the palace described in the book of Esther.
- 1 – The Courtyard of the Garden (Es 1:5).
- 2 – The Courtyard of the House of the Women (Es 2:11) which is also the probable location of Queen Vashti’s banquet (Es 1:9).
- 3 – The Second Courtyard, one of two outer courtyards (Es 6:4).
- 4 – The Inner Courtyard (Es 5:1), where entering without permission was punishable by death. It led straight to…
- 5 – The Throne Room (Es 5:1), from his throne the king could see the Queen waiting for an audience. Excavations have also revealed the House of the Women (below 2) and the King’s Gate (Es 2:21) which is outside the right of the picture.
The palace ruins confirm exactly the details described by the writer of the book of Esther and demonstrate that the writer had first-hand knowledge of the palace.