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The Oldest Seal of Darius the Great


News Category: Achaemenian Dynasty

 03 December 2003

The oldest seal ring of Darius the Great is kept in the storehouse of Iran’s National museum due to lack of space for public display. The seal is much older and different in shape and form than other seals attributed to the King of Kings.

All the other seals at other museums are in form of cylinders which produced engravings when rolled on inscriptions of adobe; but the one in National Museum is in form of a rectangular, used also as a ring, probably on a gold base of which no traces where found.

According to curator of the historical section of the National Museum Suri Ayyazi, besides the seal, there are numerous, other invaluable items in the museum’s storehouses which can not be put on display due to lack of space, highlighting the need for the expansion of the museum.

The seal measures 24.5, 20.5 and 1.5 cm, with inscriptions in cuneiform, reading “I am Darius the King” in three languages: Aryan (Old-Persian), Ilamid and Babylonian in 6 lines.

Cuneiform script, is written from left to right, but the text on the seal is from right to left which is inverted correctly when stamped on inscriptions and tablets.

A former curator of the Ancient Iran Museum Ali Hakemi believes that the date of the seal goes back to the beginning of the rule of Darius the Great, when he gained victory over Geomata, the imposter magi (mogh), and returned the rule to the Achaemenid dynasty.




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