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Deciphering Jiroft Scripture Estimated to Take 40 Years


News Category: Prehistory

 03 April 2004



An inscription found in the historical Jiroft area will be made available to international experts for deciphering. It is believed to have been invented some 2500 to 3000 years B.C. when alphabets were used in Mesopotamia.

Written on a 2x3 cm seal in horizontal and vertical lines, the scripture was discovered by Holly Pittman, a University of Pennsylvania art professor and archeologist Akram Qolami last February.

Head of the Jiroft explorations team Dr Yousef Majidzadeh noted the scripture would be presented to prominent world experts in Sorbonne, University of Pennsylvania, Chicago, Harvard and other prestigious higher education centers worldwide.

Stressing the fact that the scripture was a totally new one unaffected by others, Majidzadeh predicted it would about 40 years to decipher it, given its novelty.

“This is the first time writing works are discovered in eastern Iran and since it is believed to have been in use at the same that Mesopotamia is credited with forging alphabet, it could indicate Mesopotamia had not been the first cradle of human civilization and other civilizations have been booming at the time,” Majidzadeh said.

Experts maintain the existence of alphabet in a region is an indication of a flourishing civilization which could shed light on administrative, political, social and cultural structures.

Dr Pitman noted the discovered alphabet bore no resemblance to any other known scriptures. “It suggests we are dealing with a civilization which could rub shoulder with the first human civilization in summer,” he added.

The historical Jiroft area is located near the town of Jiroft in the southeastern Kerman province. Assumed to date back to three millennia B.C., it is among the richest historical heritage site, with more than 100 sites pinpointed along the 400 km Halilrud river.

Many renowned archaeologists believe what has so far been found in Jiroft suggest human settlement in an area as wide as Mesopotamia and summer in today’s Iraq. Majidzadeh says Jiroft is the historical city of Art, mentioned as a great civilization in a clay tablet found in Iraq.

In addition to the scripture, international archaeologists managed to find world’s largest ziggurat. Believed to be built around 2300 B.C., some four million mud bricks have been used in its construction.



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