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Latest Archaeological and Cultural News of Iran and the Iranian World


Fresh Calls for Return of Persepolis Fortification Tablets


26 February 2009



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LONDON, (CAIS) -- More than 500 researchers and archeologists from leading international universities have so far signed a letter to the US President Barack Obama, protesting to the auction of Persepolis Fortification Tablets


Commenting on the news, head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization’s Research Center, Mehdi Mousavi said on Monday that the auction of the tablets by Chicago University is a source of concern for all archeologists and Iranologists and research centers around the world, reported Persian service of IRNA.

For the same reason, Societas Iranologica Europaea has written a letter to President Obama, protesting to the illegal move by the university and calling for preventing the auction of the tablets, he said. 


He added that the petition is currently accessible at the association’s website for being signed by the protesters.

Signatories include archeology and history professors from London, Oxford, Harvard, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Sydney, Cambridge, Tehran, Vienna, Bologna, Naples, Rome, Hamburg, Liverpool, Toronto, Sorbonne, Columbia, Edinburgh and Michigan universities.

Mousavi also said that the tablets were given on loan to Chicago University 70 years ago to be studied by the entity and then returned.

Unfortunately, some of the objects are still kept at the university, he complained.

The spontaneous move by the scientists from around the world is a promising act in line with returning the tablets to Iran, he noted.


Persepolis tablets, are the administrative records in Elamite inscribed on clay tablets. Parts of two archives of such tablets were discovered in Persepolis in 1933-34 and 1936-38 by the archaeological expedition of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. They belonged to administrative records kept by agencies of the Achaemenid dynastic government during the reigns of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes I.





Extracted From/Source: Etela'at [*]




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