Naqsh-e Rustam is located near Persepolis in Iran. The site dates back to 1000 BCE and contains rock cuttings and reliefs from the Achaemenid period and the Sassanid period.
The site is an ancient necropolis which features tombs and large reliefs, including a large mural which was destroyed at the command of Bahram II. Four of the tombs identified at Naqsh-e Rustam belong to Achaemenid kings. These are carved out of the rock face high above the ground in the traditional Persian Cross style. One of the tombs is for Darius I, as evidenced by an inscription. The three remaining tombs are thought to be Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I and Darius II. The tombs were heavily looted in ancient times, after the conquest of Alexander the Great.
The later Sassanid Reliefs are larger than life-size panels depicting important events in Sassanid history from the investiture of Ardashir I to the equestrian relief of Hormizd II.
Currently, the site is quite well preserved, and is not being excavated. The site was originally excavated from 1923-1939. Many casts of the tomb inscriptions have been sent to museums, included the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Smithsonian.