History is a book which one has to start from the middle, particularly that of the ancient civilizations such as China, India, and Iran. Though the history of Iran is long and complex, its shape is determined by the rise and fall of successive dynasties with intervals of chaos and confusion -until its latest stage, victory of the Islamic Revolution and rising of an Islamic Republic in the modern world.
Man has lived on the Iranian plateau for at least 15,000 years. The earliest inhabitants were nomadic hunters who gradually turned to agriculture and developed permanent settlements. Sialk, not far south of modern Tehran, is the site of one of the world's earliest known settlements. Here, some of the first stages of what we call civilization developed, and significant progress was made in architecture and graphic design. Early Sialk ware, with its geometric and abstract motifs, has in fact curiously "modern" look. Wild wheat and barley were first cultivated in Iran, and introduced as early as the 4th millennium BC into Egypt, and from there into Europe. Several animals were domesticated and major progress was made in the use of metals, particularly copper. The greatest civilization in Iran during the prehistoric period was that of Elam, the alluvial plain of south-west Iran, today known as Khuzestan province. Susa, the Elamite capital, is the site of literally dozens of successive archaeological periods, culminating in the golden age of the 13th century BC when Elam dominated all of western Iran, as well as the Tigris valley and most of the Persian Gulf region.
In the past, and until the second half of the 20th century, when it came to telling the story of their country's origin. most Iranians used to take the side of myths, Of mix myths with actual history. This was a true reflection of the influence of great literary works such as Shahnameh on the people. More than a dozen of royal dynasties ruled Iran each for a period of longer than 2,000 years on average, according to national legends. Details of these dynasties are given in the Avesta, the sacred scripture of the Zoroastrian faith, which according to Islamic sources was written on 12,000 pieces of cow skin. Apart from the Avesta and Shahnameh names of legendary kings and dynasties are given in Vedas and Mahabharata, as well.