HistoryIran's history is longer than its 3,000 year written record. Archaeological excavations have shown that the Neolithic period in Iran dates from about 7000BCE. During the time of the Persian Empire of the Achaemenians (550-330BCE) kings espoused social reform and it was Cyrus the Great (559-530BCE) who is well known in religious traditions in the Middle East as a populist who abolished the slave conditions of the Jews allowing them to return to Jerusalem to build their temple. He is also credited as the first king in history promoting the concept of human rights. The spiritual center of Persepolis is the grandest architectural achievement of the Achaemenians eventually destroyed by Alexander the Great in 330 BCE. It was here that the Persian kings received their guests from all over world and celebrated the Persian New Year (Now Ruz). Persepolis (Greek for City of Persians) was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and is included in all of our trips to Iran. Down through the centuries Iran's history is alive with events of great magnitude that would help create the Iran of today. The coming of Islam and its effect on Iranian culture and society eventually arriving at the Islamic Revolution of 1979 illustrate a rich history, indeed.