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Pre-Achaemenid Cuneiform Inscription Discovered in Qom


23 January 2006



LONDON, (CAIS) -- Discovery of cuneiform and cuneiform-like inscriptions on a cylinder in Qoli Darvish historical site near the city if Qom strengthened the possibility of the existence of written language in this historical site during the first millennium BC.

“A 25-centimeter carved stone cylinder was discovered during the third season of excavations in the settlement layers of the Iron Age (3,000 years ago) in Qoli Darvish historical site, on which some lines which look like cuneiform writing have been incised. There are some signs on the lower part of this cylinder with might be another form of inscription,” said Siamak Sarlak, head of excavation team in Qoli Darvish historical site.

Geometrical lines in form of zigzag are carved on the above of cuneiform inscription. “The evidence indicates that a particular word has been repeated on this inscription. Such a phenomenon can be seen in Tchogha Zanbil inscription on which a special name was repeated on all parts of the inscription,” explained Sarlak.

According to Sarlak, the stone cylinder has been sent to Iran’s Archeological Research Center so that the inscription may be studied in detail.

If this inscription belongs to the Iron Age, this would be the first time that such a written script has been discovered in the Central Plateau of Iran. Prior to this, archeological excavations in the residential layers of the third millennium BC in Qoli Darvish Tepe led to the discovery of a 5000-year-old jar burial of a child at the bottom of a room belonging to the Bronze Age (2,200-1,200 BC).

Qoli Darvish historical tepe (hill) is located along the Qom-Jamkaran highway. The construction of this highway resulted in the destruction of more than 40 hectare of the 50 hectare area of Qoli Darvish Tepe; and the height of the hill was reduced to 6 meters while once it was more than 30 meters high. However, this historical hill reveals some of the mysteries of the pre-Achaemenid era civilization who were settled in the Central Plateau of Iran.

Unfortunately, all the residential layers of the Median, Achaemenid, Parthian, Sasanid, and Post-Sasanid periods have been destroyed. If this historical site had remained intact, some comprehensive information could have been extracted from the first inhabitants of the region.




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