A report on Achaemenid Empire and Royal Road

The map of Achaemenid Empire and the section of the Royal Road noted by Herodotus
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest territorial extent under the rule of Darius I (522 BC–486 BC)
Family tree of the Achaemenid rulers.
Map of the expansion process of Achaemenid territories
Cyrus the Great is said, in the Bible, to have liberated the Hebrew captives in Babylon to resettle and rebuild Jerusalem, earning him an honored place in Judaism.
The tomb of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenid Empire. At Pasargadae, Iran.
The Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
The Persian queen Atossa, daughter of Cyrus the Great, sister-wife of Cambyses II, Darius the Great's wife, and mother of Xerxes the Great
Map showing events of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Greek hoplite and Persian warrior depicted fighting, on an ancient kylix, 5th century BC
Achaemenid king fighting hoplites, seal and seal holder, Cimmerian Bosporus.
Achaemenid gold ornaments, Brooklyn Museum
Persian Empire timeline including important events and territorial evolution – 550–323 BC
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis
The 24 countries subject to the Achaemenid Empire at the time of Darius, on the Egyptian statue of Darius I.
The Battle of Issus, between Alexander the Great on horseback to the left, and Darius III in the chariot to the right, represented in a Pompeii mosaic dated 1st century BC – Naples National Archaeological Museum
Alexander's first victory over Darius, the Persian king depicted in medieval European style in the 15th century romance The History of Alexander's Battles
Frataraka dynasty ruler Vadfradad I (Autophradates I). 3rd century BC. Istakhr (Persepolis) mint.
Dārēv I (Darios I) used for the first time the title of mlk (King). 2nd century BC.
Winged sphinx from the Palace of Darius in Susa, Louvre
Daric of Artaxerxes II
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire, according to Herodotus.
Achaemenid tax collector, calculating on an Abax or Abacus, according to the Darius Vase (340–320 BC).
Letter from the Satrap of Bactria to the governor of Khulmi, concerning camel keepers, 353 BC
Relief of throne-bearing soldiers in their native clothing at the tomb of Xerxes I, demonstrating the satrapies under his rule.
Achaemenid king killing a Greek hoplite. c. 500 BC–475 BC, at the time of Xerxes I. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Persian soldiers (left) fighting against Scythians. Cylinder seal impression.
Color reconstruction of Achaemenid infantry on the Alexander Sarcophagus (end of 4th century BC).
Seal of Darius the Great hunting in a chariot, reading "I am Darius, the Great King" in Old Persian (𐎠𐎭𐎶𐏐𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁𐎴 𐏋, "adam Dārayavaʰuš xšāyaθiya"), as well as in Elamite and Babylonian. The word "great" only appears in Babylonian. British Museum.
Achaemenid calvalryman in the satrapy of Hellespontine Phrygia, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Armoured cavalry: Achaemenid Dynast of Hellespontine Phrygia attacking a Greek psiloi, Altıkulaç Sarcophagus, early 4th century BC.
Reconstitution of Persian landing ships at the Battle of Marathon.
Greek ships against Achaemenid ships at the Battle of Salamis.
Iconic relief of lion and bull fighting, Apadana of Persepolis
Achaemenid golden bowl with lioness imagery of Mazandaran
The ruins of Persepolis
A section of the Old Persian part of the trilingual Behistun inscription. Other versions are in Babylonian and Elamite.
A copy of the Behistun inscription in Aramaic on a papyrus. Aramaic was the lingua franca of the empire.
An Achaemenid drinking vessel
Bas-relief of Farvahar at Persepolis
Tomb of Artaxerxes III in Persepolis
The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven wonders of the ancient world, was built by Greek architects for the local Persian satrap of Caria, Mausolus (Scale model)
Achamenid dynasty timeline
Reconstruction of the Palace of Darius at Susa. The palace served as a model for Persepolis.
Lion on a decorative panel from Darius I the Great's palace, Louvre
Ruins of Throne Hall, Persepolis
Apadana Hall, Persian and Median soldiers at Persepolis
Lateral view of tomb of Cambyses II, Pasargadae, Iran
Plaque with horned lion-griffins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Royal Road was an ancient highway reorganized and rebuilt by the Persian king Darius the Great (Darius I) of the first (Achaemenid) Persian Empire in the 5th century BC. Darius built the road to facilitate rapid communication on the western part of his large empire from Susa to Sardis.

- Royal Road

The Achaemenid Empire is known for imposing a successful model of centralized, bureaucratic administration via the use of satraps; its multicultural policy; building infrastructure, such as road systems and a postal system; the use of an official language across its territories; and the development of civil services, including its possession of a large, professional army.

- Achaemenid Empire

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Alexander riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic

Alexander the Great

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King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon.

Alexander riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic
Alexander III riding Bucephalus on a Roman mosaic
Map of The Kingdom of Macedon in 336 BC, birthplace of Alexander
Roman medallion depicting Olympias, Alexander's mother
Archaeological Site of Pella, Greece, Alexander's birthplace
Philip II of Macedon, Alexander's father
Battle plan from the Battle of Chaeronea
Pausanius assassinates Philip II, Alexander's father, during his procession into the theatre
The emblema of the Stag Hunt Mosaic, c. 300 BC, from Pella; the figure on the right is possibly Alexander the Great due to the date of the mosaic along with the depicted upsweep of his centrally-parted hair (anastole); the figure on the left wielding a double-edged axe (associated with Hephaistos) is perhaps Hephaestion, one of Alexander's loyal companions.
The Macedonian phalanx at the "Battle of the Carts" against the Thracians in 335 BC
Map of Alexander's empire and his route
Gérard Audran after Charles LeBrun, 'Alexander Entering Babylon,' original print first published 1675, engraving, Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art Library, Washington, DC.
Alexander Cuts the Gordian Knot (1767) by Jean-Simon Berthélemy
Name of Alexander the Great in Egyptian hieroglyphs (written from right to left), c. 332 BC, Egypt. Louvre Museum.
Site of the Persian Gate in modern-day Iran; the road was built in the 1990s.
Administrative document from Bactria dated to the seventh year of Alexander's reign (324 BC), bearing the first known use of the "Alexandros" form of his name, Khalili Collection of Aramaic Documents
The Killing of Cleitus, by André Castaigne (1898–1899)
Silver tetradrachm of Alexander the Great found in Byblos (ca 330-300 bc.) (BnF 1998–859; 17,33g; Byblos, Price 3426b)
The Phalanx Attacking the Centre in the Battle of the Hydaspes by André Castaigne (1898–1899)
Alexander's invasion of the Indian subcontinent
Porus surrenders to Alexander
Asia in 323 BC, the Nanda Empire and the Gangaridai of the Indian subcontinent, in relation to Alexander's Empire and neighbours
Alexander (left) and Hephaestion (right): Both were connected by a tight friendship
Alexander at the Tomb of Cyrus the Great, by Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1796)
A Babylonian astronomical diary (c. 323–322 BC) recording the death of Alexander (British Museum, London)
19th-century depiction of Alexander's funeral procession, based on the description by Diodorus Siculus
Detail of Alexander on the Alexander Sarcophagus
Kingdoms of the Diadochi in 301 BC: the Ptolemaic Kingdom (dark blue), the Seleucid Empire (yellow), Kingdom of Pergamon (orange), and Kingdom of Macedon (green). Also shown are the Roman Republic (light blue), the Carthaginian Republic (purple), and the Kingdom of Epirus (red).
A coin of Alexander the Great struck by Balakros or his successor Menes, both former somatophylakes (bodyguards) of Alexander, when they held the position of satrap of Cilicia in the lifetime of Alexander, circa 333-327 BC. The obverse shows Heracles, ancestor of the Macedonian royal line and the reverse shows a seated Zeus Aëtophoros.
The Battle of the Granicus, 334 BC
The Battle of Issus, 333 BC
Alexander Cameo by Pyrgoteles
Alexander portrayal by Lysippos
Alexander (left), wearing a kausia and fighting an Asiatic lion with his friend Craterus (detail); late 4th century BC mosaic, Pella Museum
A Roman copy of an original 3rd century BC Greek bust depicting Alexander the Great, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen
A mural in Pompeii, depicting the marriage of Alexander to Barsine (Stateira) in 324 BC; the couple are apparently dressed as Ares and Aphrodite.
The Hellenistic world view: world map of Eratosthenes (276–194 BC), using information from the campaigns of Alexander and his successors
Plan of Alexandria c. 30 BC
Dedication of Alexander the Great to Athena Polias at Priene, now housed in the British Museum
Alexander's empire was the largest state of its time, covering approximately 5.2 million square km.
The Buddha, in Greco-Buddhist style, 1st to 2nd century AD, Gandhara, northern Pakistan. Tokyo National Museum.
This medallion was produced in Imperial Rome, demonstrating the influence of Alexander's memory. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Alexander in a 14th-century Armenian manuscript
Alexander in a 14th-century Byzantine manuscript
Alexander conquering the air. Jean Wauquelin, Les faits et conquêtes d'Alexandre le Grand, 1448–1449
Folio from the Shahnameh showing Alexander praying at the Kaaba, mid-16th century
Detail of a 16th-century Islamic painting depicting Alexander being lowered in a glass submersible
A Hellenistic bust of a young Alexander the Great, possibly from Ptolemaic Egypt, 2nd-1st century BC, now in the British Museum
A fresco depicting a hunt scene at the tomb of Philip II, Alexander's father, at the Archaeological Site of Aigai, the only known depiction of Alexander made during his lifetime, 330s BC

In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Persian Empire and began a series of campaigns that lasted for 10 years.

He sent the bulk of his army to the Persian ceremonial capital of Persepolis via the Persian Royal Road.

Ruins of the Gate of All Nations, Persepolis.

Persepolis

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Ruins of the Gate of All Nations, Persepolis.
As is typical of Achaemenid cities, Persepolis was built on a (partially) artificial platform.
Darius the Great, by Eugène Flandin (1840)
General view of the ruins of Persepolis
Aerial architectural plan of Persepolis.
Perspolis in 1920s, photo by Harold Weston
Hemidrachm from the Kingdom of Perside.Date: c. 100AC. - 100 AD.
Bust of Alexander the Great (British Museum of London).
"The Burning of Persepolis", led by Thaïs, 1890, by Georges-Antoine Rochegrosse
Thaïs setting fire on Persepolise
A general view of Persepolis.
Ruins of the Western side of the compound at Persepolis.
Achaemenid frieze designs at Persepolis.
Reliefs of lotus flowers are frequently used on the walls and monuments at Persepolis.
Statue of a Persian Mastiff found at the Apadana, kept at the National Museum, Tehran.
Tomb of Artaxerxes II, Persepolis.
Babylonian version of an inscription of Xerxes I, the "XPc inscription".
The lithograph of Shapur II in Bishapour, which is modeled on the maps of the Persepolis donors.
Sketch of Persepolis from 1704 by Cornelis de Bruijn.
Drawing of Persepolis in 1713 by Gérard Jean-Baptiste.
Drawing of the Tachara by Charles Chipiez.
The Apadana by Charles Chipiez.
Apadana detail by Charles Chipiez.
A bas-relief at Persepolis, representing a symbol in Zoroastrianism for Nowruz.{{ref|a}}
A bas-relief from the Apadana depicting Delegations including Lydians and Armenians{{ref|page 39 image 21 in The Arts of Persia edited by R W Ferrier}} bringing their famous wine to the king.
Achaemenid plaque from Persepolis, kept at the National Museum, Tehran.
Relief of a Median man at Persepolis.
Objects from Persepolis kept at the National Museum, Tehran.
A lamassu at the Gate of All Nations.
The Great Double Staircase at Persepolis.
Bas-relief on the staircase of the palace.
Door-Post Socket
Ruins of the Apadana, Persepolis.
Depiction of united Medes and Persians at the Apadana, Persepolis.
Ruins of the Apadana's columns.
Depiction of trees and lotus flowers at the Apadana, Persepolis.
Depiction of figures at the Apadana.
Ruins of the Tachara, Persepolis.
Huma bird capital at Persepolis.
Bull capital at Persepolis.
Ruins of the Hall of the Hundred Columns, Persepolis.
Forgotten Empire Exhibition, the British Museum.
Forgotten Empire Exhibition, the British Museum.
Persepolitan rosette rock relief, kept at the Oriental Institute.
alt=Museum display case showing Achaemenid objects.|Achaemenid objects at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, including a bas relief from Persepolis.
A general view of the ruins at Persepolis.
A general view of the ruins at Persepolis.
A general view of the ruins at Persepolis.
A general view of the ruins at Persepolis.

Persepolis (, Pārsa; ) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (c.

After invading Achaemenid Persia in 330 BC, Alexander the Great sent the main force of his army to Persepolis by the Royal Road.

The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription

Darius the Great

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The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription
Lineage of Darius the Great according to the Behistun Inscription.
Darius the Great, by Eugène Flandin (1840)
Eastern border of the Achaemenid Empire
Ethnicities of the Achaemenid Army, on the tomb of Darius I. The nationalities mentioned in the DNa inscription are also depicted on the upper registers of all the tombs at Naqsh-e Rustam, starting with the tomb of Darius I. The ethnicities on the tomb of Darius further have trilingual labels on the lintel directly over them for identification, collectively known as the DNe inscription. One of the best preserved friezes, identical in content, is that of Xerxes I.
Map showing key sites during the Persian invasions of Greece
Tomb of Darius at Naqsh-e Rostam
Volume of annual tribute per district, in the Achaemenid Empire.
Gold daric, minted at Sardis
Reconstruction drawing of the Palace of Darius in Susa
The ruins of Tachara palace in Persepolis
thumb|upright|Egyptian statue of Darius I, as Pharaoh of the Twenty-seventh Dynasty of Egypt;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Razmjou |first1=Shahrokh |title=Ars orientalis; the arts of Islam and the East |date=1954 |publisher=Freer Gallery of Art |pages=81–101 |url=https://archive.org/details/arsorient323320022003univ/page/n95/mode/2up}}</ref> 522–486 BC; greywacke; height: 2.46 m;<ref>{{cite book |last1=Manley|first1=Bill|title=Egyptian Art|year=2017|publisher=Thames & Hudson|pages=280|isbn=978-0-500-20428-3}}</ref> National Museum of Iran (Teheran)
Darius as Pharaoh of Egypt at the Temple of Hibis
Relief showing Darius I offering lettuces to the Egyptian deity Amun-Ra Kamutef, Temple of Hibis

Darius I ( ; c. 550 – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was a Persian ruler who served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE.

He also put the empire in better standing by building roads and introducing standard weighing and measuring systems.

The Greek gymnasium of Sardis

Sardis

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Ancient city at the location of modern Sart (Sartmahmut before 19 October 2005), near Salihli, in Turkey's Manisa Province.

Ancient city at the location of modern Sart (Sartmahmut before 19 October 2005), near Salihli, in Turkey's Manisa Province.

The Greek gymnasium of Sardis
Inside the gymnasium of Sardis.
Map of Sardis and other cities within the Lydian Empire
Sardis in the middle of Lydia, c. 50 AD
Temple of Artemis at Sardis
Remains of the Greek Byzantine shops and the Bath-Gymnasium Complex in Sardis
The gymnasium complex of Sardis
Remains of the Byzantine churches at Sardis
Details of the columns.
Details of the Gymnasium complex.
The Sardis Synagogue
Synagogue of Sardis.
Sardes wall tile with three dimensional effect.

Sardis was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, one of the important cities of the Persian Empire, the seat of a Seleucid Satrap, the seat of a proconsul under the Roman Empire, and the metropolis of the province Lydia in later Roman and Byzantine times.

In the Persian era, Sardis was conquered by Cyrus the Great and formed the end station for the Persian Royal Road which began in Persepolis, capital of Persia.

Woven silk textile from Tomb No. 1 at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan province, China, dated to the Western Han Era, 2nd century BCE

Silk Road

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Network of Eurasian trade routes active from the second century BCE until the mid-15th century.

Network of Eurasian trade routes active from the second century BCE until the mid-15th century.

Woven silk textile from Tomb No. 1 at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan province, China, dated to the Western Han Era, 2nd century BCE
Chinese jade and steatite plaques, in the Scythian-style animal art of the steppes. 4th–3rd century BCE. British Museum.
Achaemenid Persian Empire at its greatest extent, showing the Royal Road.
Soldier with a centaur in the Sampul tapestry, wool wall hanging, 3rd–2nd century BCE, Xinjiang Museum, Urumqi, Xinjiang, China.
A ceramic horse head and neck (broken from the body), from the Chinese Eastern Han dynasty (1st–2nd century CE)
Bronze coin of Constantius II (337–361), found in Karghalik, Xinjiang, China
The Silk Road transmission of Buddhism: Mahayana Buddhism first entered the Chinese Empire (Han dynasty) during the Kushan Era. The overland and maritime "Silk Roads" were interlinked and complementary, forming what scholars have called the "great circle of Buddhism".
Central Asia during Roman times, with the first Silk Road
A Westerner on a camel, Northern Wei dynasty (386–534)
Map showing Byzantium along with the other major silk road powers during China's Southern dynasties period of fragmentation.
Coin of Constans II (r. 641–648), who is named in Chinese sources as the first of several Byzantine emperors to send embassies to the Chinese Tang dynasty
A Chinese sancai statue of a Sogdian man with a wineskin, Tang dynasty (618–907)
The empires and city-states of the Horn of Africa, such as the Axumites were important trading partners in the ancient Silk Road.
After the Tang defeated the Gokturks, they reopened the Silk Road to the west.
Marco Polo's caravan on the Silk Road, 1380
Map of Eurasia and Africa showing trade networks, c. 870
The Round city of Baghdad between 767 and 912 was the most important urban node along the Silk Road.
A lion motif on Sogdian polychrome silk, 8th century, most likely from Bukhara
Yuan Dynasty era Celadon vase from Mogadishu.
Map of Marco Polo's travels in 1271–1295
Port cities on the maritime silk route featured on the voyages of Zheng He.
Plan of the Silk Road with its maritime branch
Yangshan Port of Shanghai, China
Port of Trieste
Trans-Eurasia Logistics
The Silk Road in the 1st century
The Nestorian Stele, created in 781, describes the introduction of Nestorian Christianity to China
Fragment of a wall painting depicting Buddha from a stupa in Miran along the Silk Road (200AD - 400AD)
A blue-eyed Central Asian monk teaching an East-Asian monk, Bezeklik, Turfan, eastern Tarim Basin, China, 9th century; the monk on the right is possibly Tocharian, although more likely Sogdian.
Bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by Indian Buddhist King Ashoka, 3rd century BCE; see Edicts of Ashoka, from Kandahar. This edict advocates the adoption of "godliness" using the Greek term Eusebeia for Dharma. Kabul Museum.
A statue depicting Buddha giving a sermon, from Sarnath, 3000 km southwest of Urumqi, Xinjiang, 8th century
Iconographical evolution of the Wind God. Left: Greek Wind God from Hadda, 2nd century. Middle: Wind God from Kizil, Tarim Basin, 7th century. Right: Japanese Wind God Fujin, 17th century.
Caravanserai of Sa'd al-Saltaneh
Sultanhani caravanserai
Shaki Caravanserai, Shaki, Azerbaijan
Two-Storeyed Caravanserai, Baku, Azerbaijan
Bridge in Ani, capital of medieval Armenia
Taldyk pass
Medieval fortress of Amul, Turkmenabat, Turkmenistan
Zeinodin Caravanserai
Sogdian man on a Bactrian camel, sancai ceramic glaze, Chinese Tang dynasty (618–907)
The ruins of a Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE) Chinese watchtower made of rammed earth at Dunhuang, Gansu province
A late Zhou or early Han Chinese bronze mirror inlaid with glass, perhaps incorporated Greco-Roman artistic patterns
A Chinese Western Han dynasty (202 BCE – 9 CE) bronze rhinoceros with gold and silver inlay
Han dynasty Granary west of Dunhuang on the Silk Road.
Green Roman glass cup unearthed from an Eastern Han dynasty (25–220 CE) tomb, Guangxi, southern China

475 BCE), the Royal Road of the Persian Empire ran some 2857 km from the city of Susa on the Karun (250 km east of the Tigris) to the port of Smyrna (modern İzmir in Turkey) on the Aegean Sea.

Map of the Khurasan Road from Baghdad to Rayy, according to Ibn Khordadbeh, with distances in farsakhs

Khurasan Road

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The great trunk road connecting Mesopotamia to the Iranian Plateau and thence to Central Asia, China, and the Indus Valley.

The great trunk road connecting Mesopotamia to the Iranian Plateau and thence to Central Asia, China, and the Indus Valley.

Map of the Khurasan Road from Baghdad to Rayy, according to Ibn Khordadbeh, with distances in farsakhs
Map of the road from Ray to Nishapur, with distances in farsakhs
Map of Khurasan and Transoxiana in the early Islamic period

During the Achamenid period, the road constituted the eastern segment of the Royal Road system.

Shah-Abbasi Caravansarai in Karaj, Iran

Caravanserai

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Roadside inn where travelers (caravaners) could rest and recover from the day's journey.

Roadside inn where travelers (caravaners) could rest and recover from the day's journey.

Shah-Abbasi Caravansarai in Karaj, Iran
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Ganjali Khan Caravanserai (1598), in Kerman, Iran
Khan As'ad Pasha (1751-52) in Damascus, Syria
Funduq al-Najjarin in Fes, Morocco
The entrance portal of the Sultan Han (13th century) near Aksaray, Turkey
Corral del Carbón, a former caravanserai in Granada, Spain
A sample floor plan of a Safavid Empire-era caravanserai in Karaj, Iran
The courtyard of the Koza Han (1490-91) of Bursa, Turkey; the domed building is a small mosque (mescit)
Wikala of Sultan al-Ghuri (1504-05), one of the best-preserved examples in Cairo
Fallujah's Caravanserai in use, ca. 1914, Iraq
1850 drawing of Khan al-Tujjar, near Mount Tabor, Israel
Khan al-Umdan in Acre, Israel
Khan al-Wazir, Aleppo, Syria
Inside the Orbelian's Caravanserai, Armenia
Interior of the Caravanserai of Sa'd al-Saltaneh in Qazvin, Iran
Caravanserai of Shah Abbas, now Abbasi Hotel, in Isfahan, Iran. View is from the courtyard (sahn).
Abandoned caravanserai in Neyestānak, Iran
18th-century<ref>Vladimir Braginskiy. Tourist Attractions in the USSR: A Guide. Raduga Publishers, 1982. 254 pages. Page 104. The whole of the centre of Sheki has been proclaimed a reserve protected by the state. To take you back to the time of the caravans, two large eighteenth-century caravanserais have been preserved with spacious courtyards where the camels used to rest, cellars where goods were stored, and rooms for travellers. </ref> caravanserai in Sheki, Azerbaijan
Multani Caravanserai, Baku, Azerbaijan
Caravenserai Mosque in Murshidabad, India; built by Nawab Murshid Quli Khan of Bengal
1823 etching of Bara Katra, or Great Caravanserai, in Dhaka, Bangladesh; built by the Mughal Prince Shah Shuja
1817 sketch of the Choto Katra caravanserai in Dhaka, Bangladesh; built by the Mughal viceroy Shaista Khan
Anderkilla in Chittagong, Bangladesh
Entrance portal of the Wikala of Sultan Qaytbay, dating from 1477, south of Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo
Ruins of a Silk Road caravanserai in Tash Rabat, Kyrgyzstan

Caravanserais were a common feature not only along the Silk Road, but also along the Achaemenid Empire's Royal Road, a 2500 km ancient highway that stretched from Sardis to Susa according to Herodotus: "Now the true account of the road in question is the following: Royal stations exist along its whole length, and excellent caravanserais; and throughout, it traverses an inhabited tract, and is free from danger."