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UPDATE: Newly Discovered Achaemenid Kharg Inscription May Add Five New Words to Old Persian Lexicon


21 November 2007



LONDON, (CAIS) -- It is possible that five words have been added to our knowledge of the Old-Persian language by the recent discovery of a stone inscription on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf, the Persian service of CHN reported on Tuesday.


The cuneiform inscription, comprising six words on six different horizontal lines inscribed on a piece of uneven rock encrusted with corals, has been found last week during a road construction project. Measuring about a meter square, the rock has become detached from its original terrain.


Initial studies show the artefact dates back to the Achaemenid dynastic era (550-330 BCE).


The first, second, fifth and sixth words are quite easily legible, but the third and fourth words are difficult to make out due to erosion, explained expert on ancient languages Reza Moradi-Ghiasabadi.


Moradi-Ghiasabadi has deciphered the inscription from photos sent to him by the locals.


According to Moradi-Ghiasabadi, the first word reads “aahe” or “ahe”, which means “was” or “were”. This word has frequently been observed in ancient Persian inscriptions. However, the other five words are new discoveries.


The second word reads “sakosha” or “sakusha”.


“This word obviously denotes a particular name, which has so far never been seen in any ancient inscription, but it is similar to words used by the Scythians,” Moradi-Ghiasabadi said.


Only two letters of the third word are legible and these read “hi”. Again, only two letters of the fourth word are decipherable and these are pronounced “ka” and “aa”.


The fifth word reads “bahanam”, for which no meaning has been found.


The sixth word seems to be damaged but the end of it reads “kha”.


The inscription has been made both quickly and carelessly and its writer has not used the cuneiform comma as every word has been inscribed on a separate line.  


The artefact has three crown-shaped motifs incised in a side-ways fashion in the middle of the inscription and also at the beginning of the third and fourth lines. The motifs are similar to the crowns of some of the Sasanian king of kings.



Inscription’s authenticity doubtful


Moradi-Ghiasabadi urged that the object should first be examined for authenticity.


He cited some points which throw doubt on the genuineness of the inscription: careless and fast writing -- which is not commonly observed in previously discovered Achaemenid inscriptions -- slight layers of sediment on the edges and insides of the letters, multi-typography style of the inscription, unknown words and the use of strange motifs resembling the Sasanid Imperial crown in an allegedly Achaemenid artefact.


Extracted From/Source*: Mehr News


*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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