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Darius the Great' Ancient Inscription Found in Boushehr Deciphered


09 April 2005




Archaeologists have succeeded to decipher the text of an old stone tablet found recently in Boushehr, south of Iran. The tablet belongs to Darius the Great, King of Achaemenids.

Excavation in the old palace of Bardak-e Siah in Boushehr, in the southern province of Boushehr, at the end of March led to the discovery of a stone tablet, with a written text in New Babylonian and a relief of Darius the Great.

Experts of ancient languages succeeded to read and decipher the text, which is evidently part of a larger one. It says: “… I put … on top of the gate…”

According to head of the excavation team of Doroudgah-e Borazjan (where the palace is located), Ehsan Yaghmayi, the stone inscription is actually the base of a column. The beginning and end of the inscription is broken and a large part of the text is still uncovered, leaving experts with just one line of inscription.

Dr. Abdolmajid Rafi’i, expert of ancient languages, has proved that the language the text is written in is New Babylonian. The one sentence reads: “… I put … on top of the gate …”.

In the Achaemenid era, each tablet was usually inscribed not only in New Babylonian, but also in New Elamite and Ancient Persian, and therefore, the archaeology team is looking to find the rest of the Darius tablet.

Last week, the team also found another tablet, which is grey and is of limestone. It measures 3x5 centimeters and only one word is inscribed on it. Experts believe it belonged to a larger text. Dr. Arfai’i has started working on deciphering the new discovery.




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