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Ganj-Namé Inscriptions Under Threat


25 July 2005



Ganj-Namé was once located along a branch of the Rah-e Shahi (Imperial Road) which was constructed during the reign of Achaemenid dynasty to link the capital city of Hegmataneh (ancient name for Hamedan) to the west and south of the country.

One of the inscriptions is attributed to Darius the Great (521-486 BC) while the other pertains to Xerxes (486-465 BC).

The inscriptions were written from left to right in Aryan (Old-Persian) cuneiform, Elamite and Babeli scripts in 20 lines.

The inscriptions praise the Zoroastrian God, Ahura Mazda and they also provide the lineage of the Achaemenian king of kings, Darius the Great and his son Xerxes.

An expert of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department in Hamedan province, Rahim Ranjbaran said that the erosion of the stone tablets bearing the inscriptions became more evident in the past century. The British archeologist Jackson wrote in his diary in 1905 that examination of the stones indicated that they were not been damaged since his last visit. He attributed the erosion to the antiquity of the stone tablets which date back to 2,500 years ago.

Dean of the Art Faculty of Avicenna University Yaqub Mohammadi-far, who is also an architect, said that the inscriptions of Ganj-Namé provide documentary evidence about the glory of ancient Iran and simply cannot be ignored.

He said that there has been theoretical debate on ways of safeguarding Ganj-Namé inscriptions from the early years of the twentieth century. Of course, there were conflicting views on the issue and no consensus was ever reached, he added.

Ranjbaran said that the flow of surface water should be prevented from the inscriptions and they should be sheltered from the rain. He also called for consolidating the positions of the stone tablets.




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