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Elamite Inscription Found on Ancient Jiroft Brick


Tuesday, 01 February 2005




The inscription on a brick found in the archeological site of Jiroft is identified by experts as a manuscript belonging to the Elamite era.

The inscription which includes two lines proves that the residents of the area enjoyed writing during the Bronze Age (the first half of the third millennium BC).

Jiroft historical site, which is located next to the Halilrood River in the central province of Kerman, has been called “Archeologists’ Lost Heaven”. Numerous ancient items and remains have been discovered there during the last three years.

The inscription on the brick is not the first example of handwriting found in Jiroft and some other evidence had previously been identified among seal impressions, however, it is notable with respect to the reassurance it gives experts concerning the existence of handwriting then.

The inscription is written on a brick, of which only the left corner and two written lines remain. Enough to have archeologists categorize it as an Elamite one, explained head of the Jiroft excavation team, Yusef Majidzadeh.

The most known Elamite manuscript is the inscription of In-Shushinak, the Elamite King, which dates to the second millennium BC and has been unearthed in the Susa diggings, Khuzestan, south of Iran. Meanwhile, the oldest discovered handwriting is early Elamite dating to the third millennium BC.

Elamite manuscripts have previously been found in Susa, the Burnt City, and some other ancient sites.

Majidzadeh and Holly Pittman, an ancient art professor at the University of Pennsylvania working in Jiroft are optimist that further diggings will lead to an understanding of the more ancient developments and maybe the root of the newly discovered handwriting. It is not yet read, but the archeologists say it is probably a building inscription or an offering to the King.



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