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Persian Gulf's Kharg Island Achaemenid Inscription Still Imperilled


02 March 2008




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Pictures courtesy of Persian services of CHN and ISNA

(Click to enlarge)


LONDON, (CAIS) -- The Achaemenid rock inscription, which was discovered on Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf in mid-November 2007, is still at risk from the forces of nature and vandalism due to lack of any protection having been set up to safeguard the valuable relic.


The cuneiform inscription, which has been carved on a piece of uneven rock encrusted with corals, was discovered during a road construction project. The rock, measuring 85x116cm, has become detached from its original terrain.


Shortly after its discovery, the inscription was deciphered by Rasul Bashshash, an expert at the Archaeological Research Centre of Iran (ARCI). It read “(This) land was a dry area with no water; (I) brought happiness and welfare, Bahana… water wells.”


The artefact has remained where it was found without any attempt having been made to protect it. 


The inscription is currently being damaged both by the road construction project taking place in the vicinity and by natural habitat and growing plants around it, the Persian service of CHN reported on Saturday.


“It is sad to witness that no decision has been made for safeguarding the Achaemenid inscription,” veteran archaeologist Ali-Akbar Sarafraz, who has visited the site, told CHN.


“The inscription is important since it is another piece of historical evidence that confirms the word 'Persian' for the Persian Gulf,” he added.


“There are many archaeological traces to be seen around the artefact which may be destroyed by the road construction project,” he noted.


Sarafraz believes that this project will stop upcoming archaeological study plans scheduled for the region.


According to Kharg (also Khark) Island's inhabitants, a human skeleton had been partially unearthed at the foot of the inscription, which for some unknown reason has been entirely destroyed.


The inscription has also been damaged by scratches that seem to have been made in an attempt to destroy its surface.


Kharg (Khārg), also sometimes written as Khark, is one of Persian Gulf’s Iranian islands, situated at about 30 kms. northwest of Bandar-e Rig and 52 kms. northwest of Bušehr. It is referred to in East India Company records as "Karrack" and in Arabic sources as Kharej. It is the larger and more southerly of two islands (the other being Khârgu).


Kharg is about 8 kms long and, at its widest point, 4 kms across. The interior is hilly, terminating in cliffs at the northern and southern ends of the island.






Extracted From/Source:   Mehr News [*]




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