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The Medes
In the second and first millennia BC, successive waves of indo European tribes arrived on the Iranian plateau, either from the Caucasus, or through Transoxiana (Central Asia). The Persians, having settled for a while around lake Urumieh, finally moved to the present province of Fars and the Bakhtiari mountains, while the Medes occupied the Barned plain. The Medes, known for being fierce warriors
and skilled horse breeders, were at fir organized as independent tribes. Under constant pressure from their powerful neighbors, Urartu and Assyria, and following the arrival of two new war-like groups from the Caucasus, the Scythians and the Cimmerians, the Median tribes gradually developed a more cohesive political structure. The unification of the Medes, which was begun by a tribal chief, Deioces,
was completed in 673 BC by his son Phraortes and the Median capital was established at Ecbatana or "Place of Assembly", modern Barned. Under the rule of Cyaxares (633-584), the Medes put an end to centuries of war against the Assyrians, capturing Niniva in 612 and thus bringing down the Assyrian empire. For more than half a century after the fall of Niniva, the Medes ruled over a vast empire that stretched
from Afghanistan to Turkey.

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