The preparation of activated carbon from sesame shells as raw precursor was investigated in the study by sequentially applying microwave and conventional heating methods assisted by zinc chloride activation. The optimizisation of experimental parameters including microwave power, microwave treatment time, conventional activation time, conventional activation temperature and zinc chloride concentration ratio for the microwave and conventional heating method was performed. The characterization of the prepared activated carbon was done by thermogravimetric and differential thermal measurements, infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and specific surface area analyses. The maximum surface area of 1254m(2)/g for the prepared activated carbon was obtained at a microwave power of 750W, a microwave treatment time of 20min, an activation time of 45min, an activation temperature of 500 degrees C and zinc chloride concentration ratio of 1:1. Methylene blue and iodine adsorption capacities for the prepared activated carbon were 103 and 1199mg/g, respectively.