(ach' mee thuh); or ECBATANA (NAS, NIV, RSV, TEV) The capital of the ancient Median empire, located in the Zagros Mountains in western Iran, on two major roads that lead from the south and west to the city of Tehran. Only one reference to the city is found in the canonical books of the Bible (Ezra 6:2), but it is known as Ecbatana in the apocryphal books and is referred to frequently, especially in the books of Judith, Tobit, and 2 Maccabees.
No archeological work has been undertaken at Achmetha for the simple reason that it is now occupied by the modern city of Hamadan. Surface finds, two of which are a gold dagger and a gold tablet written in cuneiform, have been made, but the ruins of the ancient city await the archeologist's spade. Annual pilgrimages are made to the modern city to pay homage at the traditional burial places of Esther and Mordecai, though the historical basis of the tradition is open to question.