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Five Additional Words Added to Old-Persian Lexicon


20 November 2007




Picture courtesy of CHN

LONDON, (CAIS) -- By deciphering the newly discovered Old-Persian inscription in Kharg Island located in Persian Gulf which is believed to have belonged to Achaemenid dynastic era (550-330 BCE), five new words have been added to the Old-Persian lexicon.


This is for the first time that an Old-Persian inscription has been ever been discovered in Karg (also Khark) Island and five of the six words carved in this inscription, have never been seen before in any other Old-Persian inscriptions.


Speaking to the Persian service of CHN, Reza Moradi Ghias-Abadi, archaeologist and expert of ancient languages, who have succeeded to read the discovered inscription in Kharg Island through the pictures which have been sent by local people, said that the details and final result will be clarified by researches who will attend the area to study the inscription. 


This Achaemenid inscription has been recently unearthed accidentally during the road construction activities in Kharg Island, northwest of Persian Gulf and in Bushehr province.


The inscription was carved on a piece of coral reef, measuring 85x116cm. Although this inscription has been separated from its original place, evidence indicates that it must have been carved on a coral cliff in the island and was not portable.


This cuneiform inscription is consisted of six lines which apparently each line is consisting one word in Old-Persian script.


The first four lines of this inscription have been separated by a narrow long line from the rest two lines. While all the Achaemenid imperial inscriptions were royal text and were carved very delicately, the appearance of this crude inscription shows that it must have been carved in a hurry. 


The Old-Persian cuneiform which was called Aryan (OP. ariyā) was created during the reign of Darius the Great (r.549-485 BCE). However, some scholars believe that Aryan was invented by the first Iranian dynasty, the Medians (728-550 BCE), and then adopted by the Achaemenids as the imperial script. The script continued to survive, though in a corrupt form as late as the first century BCE.


The characteristic of Kharg inscription is a combination of both early and late Achaemenid period. Working on Kharg cuneiform inscription revealed that that the style of early Achaemenid period was implemented in writing the last two lines of the inscription and the late Achaemenid writing style was incised in the first four lines.


The inscription is also is being studied by the linguists at “The Research Centre of linguistics, Inscriptional and Manuscript Studies” (RCLIM) in Tehran. On Monday the RCLIM announced that any decipherment of the inscription by individuals considered to be unofficial and possibly wrong.

Old Persian was the vernacular tongue of the Achaemenid monarchs, but had already been spoken for a few centuries prior to the rise of the Achaemenid dynasty to power in 550 BCE. It is the oldest attested Persid language, which is classified in the group of Western Iranian languages. The Middle-Persian (Sasanid-Pahlavi) and New Persian, the lingua franca of Iran, are the direct continuation of the Old Persian evolution. 



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Extracted From/Source*: Cultural Heritage News Agency (CHN)


*Please note the above-news is NOT a "copy & paste" version from the mentioned-source. The news/article above has been modified with the following interventions by CAIS: Spelling corrections; -Rectification and correction of the historical facts and data; - Providing additional historical information within the text; -Removing any unnecessary, irrelevant & repetitive information.


All these measures have been taken in order to ensure that the published news provided by CAIS is coherent, transparent, accurate and suitable for academics and cultural enthusiasts who visit the CAIS website.


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