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ICHTO Holds Exhibition of Documented Rock Inscriptions


21 May 2006




LONDON, (CAIS) -- The outcome of 17 years of efforts by the Language and Dialect Research Centre in making moulds of rock inscriptions will be displayed in an exhibition of documented rock inscriptions which is to start its work in Tehran today, 20th of May, on the occasion of the Cultural Heritage Week.

“Some moulds of endangered pre-Islamic rock inscriptions will be displayed in this exhibition. Preparing the moulds of these inscriptions had started in 1989 by experts of the Language and Dialect Research Centre in order to save our ancestral written heritage and now they are ready to be displayed in this exhibition,” said Rasoul Bashash-Kanzagh, head of Language and Dialect Research Centre of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran (ICHTO).

According to Kanzagh, the original inscriptions are not in an intact condition and they are not preserved properly. Due to inhospitable climatic conditions, some of these inscriptions are in danger. For example, some parts of the Kartir inscription on the Kabeh of Zoroaster and the entire Pahlavi inscription in Meshkin-Shahr have been destroyed over time.


Preserving these inscriptions and protecting them against the possible dangers are the main concerns of ICHTO’s Language and Dialect Research Centre. Controlling the conditions these rock inscriptions are being kept in, providing pictures in order to have documents from the conditions of these manuscripts and keeping them in Iran’s Historical Document Centre, and providing one or two moulds from these inscriptions and keeping them in an appropriate place are some of the activities of the Language and Dialect Research Centre.

“These moulds have been kept in the museum of Niavaran Palace for several years and will temporarily be exhibited in this museum. However, we are looking to find an appropriate place to keep and exhibit them permanently. Despite the importance of these moulds in preserving our ancient written heritage and considering the fact that the original inscriptions are in danger of obliteration, no particular attention has been given by the authority to making moulds,” added Kanzagh.

Kanzagh also explained that out of all the discovered inscriptions in Iran, about 70 are in danger of destruction. He added that there are also some pre-historic carvings for which no moulds have been made. “In general, we believe that there are 10-12 endangered inscriptions for which no mould has been made yet and the Research Centre is determined to start this task within the current year,” explained Kanzagh.

Exhibition of Documented Rock Inscriptions with the title of “Inscription, Ancestral Written Heritage,” opened yesterday 20th of May, for four days in Blue Hall of the Museum of Niavaran Palace.

Among the most important inscriptions are the inscription of Shapur on top of Naqsh-e Rostam in Fars province, the Achaemenid Ganjnameh (treasure inventory) inscription in the city of Hamadan, the Darius the Greta's Bistun inscription in Kermanshah province. 


Jiroft inscription which was unearthed during the recent archaeological excavations in Jiroft historical site in Kerman province is believed to be the oldest evidence of written language in the world. Archaeologists believe that this may change the history of civilization in the world. Prior to this discovery, it was believed that Mesopotamia was the cradle of civilization and written language first appeared in this area and then spread to other parts of the world but now with this new discovery it is believed that writing language have its origin in Jiroft and then it was spread to Mesopotamia from here.




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Source/Extracted From: CHN



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