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Oldest Iranian Stylus Discovered in Fars Province


05 April 2005





The oldest Iranian Stylus, dating to the Middle Elamite era, 1550-1000 BC, which were used for inscribing mud tablets, has been discovered from Bondul Tepe, Fars province.

Bondul Tepe is one of Fars’ major archaeological sites where architectural remains, clay and metal objects have been discovered, revealing information about the economic and social conditions of the people living in the area from the fourth millennium BC to the Achaemenid era, and Islamic period.

According to head of the excavation team of Bondul Tepe, Ehsan Yaghma’ii, the stylus has a simple structure and can easily be held in hand. One end of it is thick and triangular and the other is sharp and bold. The stylus is 9 centimeters long and is made of limestone. The inscribers could create texts in cuneiform by pressing the pen softly on the wet mud of the tablets.

Before the discovery of the pen and based on studies carried out on different archaeological sites, many archaeologists, including the French archaeologist Jacques DeMorgan, had tried to provide a picture of ancient Iranian styluses, which they believed were made of cane or metal. According to Yaghma’ii, the stylus excavated in Bondul Tepe is not much different from the ones suggested by these experts.

Despite the discovery of the stylus, no inscription or tablet has yet been found in the area.





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