"…."King Darius said," These are the lands that are subdued to me, and by the grace of Ahuramazda I became the king of them: Perseus [Pârsa], Elam [Ûvja], Babylonia [Bābiruš], Assyria [Atharâ], Arabia [Arabâya], Egypt [Mudrâya], the countries by sea, Lydia [Sparda], the Greeks [Yauna (Ionia)], Media [Mâda], Armenia [Armina], Cappadocia [Katpatuka], Parthia [Sharah], Aram [Haraiva], Chorasmia [Uvârazmîy], Bactria [Bâxtriš], Sogdia [Suguda], Gandara [Gadâra], Scythia [Saka], Sattagydia [ Maka] Twenty-three lands in all ... " .
These words are part of a cave inscription. By means of this we have a precise historical document: the foundation of the empire by Darius the First. This historically important inscription, written in three languages, is on the sacred mountain of Bistun. Bistun is a village in the province of Kermanshah at the foot of a mountain by the same name. In Bistun there are vestiges of the medieval period (8th to 7th century BC), Seleucid (the statue of Hercules), Parthian (some bas-reliefs), Sassanid (a bas-relief which remained unfinished, Arab invasion), as well as the Achaemenes periods (6th to 4th centuries BC) Bistun has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2006.