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Aryan (Old-Persian) Cuneiform Predating Darius the Great


07 July 2005



All historians and experts in Iran, believe that the Aryan (Old-Persian) Cuneiform was invented during the reign of Darius the Great.

It is widely believed that the invention of this script was due to the order of Darius the great, the third king of kings in line from the beginning of the Dynasty. Most of Achaemenid historical texts support the same hypothesis as well but just recently, Dr. Badr alzaman Gharib, delivering her speech, titled Emergence and Changes in Ancient Persian Script in a forum on Achaemenid tablets, claimed that the Persian cuneiform predates Darius.

She said, “I believe that this script predates Darius and improved in his reign. Persian cuneiform consists of 36 signs for three vowels and syllables which are consisted of a single consonant and a vowel, 8 ideograms for 4 concepts regarding king, land, country, and Ahoora Mazda (the great god of ancient Persians), 1 divider (a diagonal wedged-shape sign to separate words), and 22 figures for numbers. All of these items and especially the divider and the construction of syllable script prove that this script was much more ancient.”

She also indicated, “On the other hand, the ancient Persian cuneiform led to decoding other cuneiforms namely Elamite and Assyrian ones, therefore is especially important. This script because of the word separator and having fewer alphabets was deciphered earlier than the other scripts and as it was frequently inscribed along with the same text in three other languages and therefore scripts, it helped decoding other cuneiforms as well.”

Archaeology and linguistics contributed a lot to the decipherment of this script. When archaeologists proved that the inscriptions belong to Achaemenid era, linguists took Avestan and Sanskrit grammar for a model to decipher the code and actually they were not wrong as these languages are really similar linguistically.

She concluded that, “If it wasn’t for the word separator, its decoding would be impossible.”




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