- from Ancient Persia
Thousands of years ago, the land now occupied by the countries of Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan was home to many different groups of people. In turn, the Sumerians, the Babylonians, and the Assyrians ruled the area.
Around 3,300 years ago, a new group arrived. They were called Aryans, and they came from central Asia, north of the Caspian Sea, in an area that today is divided between Russia and Kazakhstan. The Aryans were made up of many tribes. One tribe, the Medes, settled in what is now northern and western Iran. Another tribe, the Persians, made their home farther south, in an area called Fars. By 585 B.C., the Medes had conquered the Assyrians and become the dominant group in the area. But the Medes didn’t rule for long. Around 550 B.C., they were defeated by Cyrus II, king of Persia. From this triumph, Cyrus went on to build the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen—and, eventually, he became known as Cyrus the Great.