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Masjed-e Soleiman

Masjed-e Soleiman is a city in Khuzestan Province, located among the Zagros Mountains. Masjed Soleiman's most interesting parish is Tembi, and historical and ancient site is Sarmasjed Temple in the northeast. Sarmasjed temple is on the verge of Sarmasjed terrace, in ancient time fire had been continuously flaming inside it. And according to historians was the capital of Achaemenian Reign. Among other Masjed Soleiman ancient relics, we can suggest the ancient Temple of Bard-e-Neshande.

According to historical scripts, In elamite empire the name of masjed soleyman was Assak and after following the Persian invasion this name change to parsomash. They founded the city of Parsumash in memory of their motherland near the city of Anshan which is the fatherland of Pasargadae and Persepolis.

A French archaeological expedition under the supervision of Prof. Roman Ghirshman made some important discoveries. Ghirshman believes Parsomash (present-day Masjed Soleyman) was the oldest capital of the Achaemenian Kingdom.

Masjed Soleyman's importance today is in oil exploration. William Knox D'Arcy, by contract with King Mozaffaroddin Qajar, obtained permission to explore for oil for the first time in the Middle East, near this city. This event changed the history of Iran and the Middle East. The oil discovery led to petrochemical industry development and also the establishment of industries that strongly depended on oil.

Near Masjed-e Soleiman, now a large industrial centre, are the remains of several terraces, thought to be of Achaemenian date and which may be the forerunners of the terraces at Pasargadae and Persepolis. About 25 kilometres (16 miles) north, at Bard-e Neshandeh, is yet another terrace. Parthian statues and carvings have been found here, although it appears that the site was occupied as early as the Achaemenian period.