Persepolis  [Iran, 2004]
The best known of Iran's ancient ruins, Persepolis was a sprawling palace complex built at the height of the Achaemenid Empire about 2500 years ago, and razed by Alexander the Great just 150 years later. Few buildings have been left standing, but the reliefs - such as these on the Apadana Palace staircase - are so crisp they could have been carved yesterday.