BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Trilingual Inscription Surfaces Near Darius the Great’s Tomb

Bible and archaeology news

An ancient trilingual inscription has surfaced on a hillside near the tomb of Persian king Darius the Great (Darius I) in Naqsh-e Rustam, the necropolis (“city of the dead”) 4 miles northwest of Persepolis, Iran. Written in Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian, the inscription records the title of an official who was close to the royal court. Unfortunately, his name has not been preserved.

trilingual-inscription-iran

This trilingual inscription is written in Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. Photo: M.A. Mosallanezhad.

Not only does this inscription shed light on the elite families who associated with the Persian kings, some of them even serving as advisors, but it also adds a new verb to all three languages—the act used to describe the gesture of the figure below the inscription. Iranian scholars Mojtaba Doorodi and Soheil Delshad recently discovered the inscription at Naqsh-e Rustam. Hidden by dirt and lichens, it had escaped earlier notice by archaeologists.

trilingual-inscription-iran-2

The inscription is located next to carved reliefs in the Naqsh-e Rustam necropolis in Iran. Photo: M.A. Mosallanezhad.

Another trilingual inscription from Iran—the Behistun Inscription—helped us crack the cuneiform script in the early 1800s. Also written in Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian, the Behistun Inscription by King Darius did for cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone did for Egyptian hieroglyphs. Scholars were able to first decipher the cuneiform of the Old Persian part of the inscription and use that to make sense of the Elamite and Babylonian portions.
 


 
From Babylon to Baghdad: Ancient Iraq and the Modern West examines the relationship between ancient Iraq and the origins of modern Western society. This free eBook details some of the ways in which ancient Near Eastern civilizations have impressed themselves on Western culture and chronicles the present-day fight to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage.
 


 

Related Reading in Bible History Daily:

10 Great Biblical Artifacts at the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem
Check out the quadrilingual Darius I jar

Babylonian Trigonometry Table: The World’s Oldest?

I Am Ashurbanipal at the British Museum

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8 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    You won’t get arrested for being a tourist, unless you really do something stupid. Most Persians living in Iran are not what the many Americans think – the propaganda on both sides screams: USA is evil empire in view of Islamic government and USA has the same view about Iranian government – Star Wars parody. I lived in Poland before the Democratic government was elected (sort of)and I know how the B.S. is played by both sides.
    Many regular citizens of Iran are not the Islamic fanatics many in the West would like us to believe, but yes the Iranian government does watch what it’s people and people visiting Iran do – ears and eyes of the Shah in Islamic version. Too bad the Persians lost to invading Arabs – Navahand was final blow and opened the doors to Islamic conquest East of Mesopotamia, making Zarathusti population of Iran slaves of the new masters since they didn’t have the same status as Christians or Jews – people of the book – so you either convert, or die for your believes, or like the remainder move somewhere were you won’t be persecuted. And many muslim Iranians living outside Iran are not like their Arab counterparts – they like western freedoms and cling to their Zoroastrian heritage – as my ex said “I hate these Arabs – they destroyed my culture, my religion, my country”

  2. wdk says:

    When you contrast how much written material we have from the Greek states that opposed the Persian Empire with the material we have obtained from the Persian Empire itself, we are confronted with a huge mystery. Subsequently, after the Persian Empire collapsed in the conflict with Alexander, we have all this “Hellenistic” material written not in Babyloniana, Persian or Elamite, but in Greek. Yet it was the motto of the Persian “pony express” that was adapted by the US postal service.
    Where are all the Persian letters, books and poems?
    It almost seems like the majority of our known Persian legacy is tied up in Bishtun – and now and then a discovery such as this in the same tri-lingual format. Yet the empire was tolerant of local nationalities and fostered trade. It had means to communicate. And it seemed to use cuneiform and tablets – as did Assyrians
    and Babylonians.
    The absence of histories, plays, religious tracts, proclamations, poetry is in stark contrast to other societies.
    Where is everything?

  3. George Makrauer says:

    “Any chance that BAS could sponsor a tour to Iran?” as the country is currently oppressively theocratically governed… AND LOOSE ALL ITS READER SUPPORT??? If Iran, why not North Korea?

    1. Andish says:

      Actually not so!
      Im an Iranian and also a tour guide.
      Unfortunately the world news exaggerate about some happenings in Iran. Its not fair to compare Iran with North Korea!! Thats my pleasure for trying to show the realities of my country to the world so I invite you to come here. Just trust 🙂

  4. Ryan McGinnis says:

    This is a great find. Hopefully archaeologists can do some more digging, and find the other mentions of Dan’El, Shadrak, Myshak, and Ebed-Nego

  5. Helen Spalding says:

    Superb find!

  6. Nancy Jones says:

    Any chance that BAS could sponsor a tour to Iran?

    1. Dennis B. Swaney says:

      Iran would just arrest the tourists as they have done for years. There are several American tourists who have disappeared in Iran and were probably murdered by the terrorist regime in Iran.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    You won’t get arrested for being a tourist, unless you really do something stupid. Most Persians living in Iran are not what the many Americans think – the propaganda on both sides screams: USA is evil empire in view of Islamic government and USA has the same view about Iranian government – Star Wars parody. I lived in Poland before the Democratic government was elected (sort of)and I know how the B.S. is played by both sides.
    Many regular citizens of Iran are not the Islamic fanatics many in the West would like us to believe, but yes the Iranian government does watch what it’s people and people visiting Iran do – ears and eyes of the Shah in Islamic version. Too bad the Persians lost to invading Arabs – Navahand was final blow and opened the doors to Islamic conquest East of Mesopotamia, making Zarathusti population of Iran slaves of the new masters since they didn’t have the same status as Christians or Jews – people of the book – so you either convert, or die for your believes, or like the remainder move somewhere were you won’t be persecuted. And many muslim Iranians living outside Iran are not like their Arab counterparts – they like western freedoms and cling to their Zoroastrian heritage – as my ex said “I hate these Arabs – they destroyed my culture, my religion, my country”

  2. wdk says:

    When you contrast how much written material we have from the Greek states that opposed the Persian Empire with the material we have obtained from the Persian Empire itself, we are confronted with a huge mystery. Subsequently, after the Persian Empire collapsed in the conflict with Alexander, we have all this “Hellenistic” material written not in Babyloniana, Persian or Elamite, but in Greek. Yet it was the motto of the Persian “pony express” that was adapted by the US postal service.
    Where are all the Persian letters, books and poems?
    It almost seems like the majority of our known Persian legacy is tied up in Bishtun – and now and then a discovery such as this in the same tri-lingual format. Yet the empire was tolerant of local nationalities and fostered trade. It had means to communicate. And it seemed to use cuneiform and tablets – as did Assyrians
    and Babylonians.
    The absence of histories, plays, religious tracts, proclamations, poetry is in stark contrast to other societies.
    Where is everything?

  3. George Makrauer says:

    “Any chance that BAS could sponsor a tour to Iran?” as the country is currently oppressively theocratically governed… AND LOOSE ALL ITS READER SUPPORT??? If Iran, why not North Korea?

    1. Andish says:

      Actually not so!
      Im an Iranian and also a tour guide.
      Unfortunately the world news exaggerate about some happenings in Iran. Its not fair to compare Iran with North Korea!! Thats my pleasure for trying to show the realities of my country to the world so I invite you to come here. Just trust 🙂

  4. Ryan McGinnis says:

    This is a great find. Hopefully archaeologists can do some more digging, and find the other mentions of Dan’El, Shadrak, Myshak, and Ebed-Nego

  5. Helen Spalding says:

    Superb find!

  6. Nancy Jones says:

    Any chance that BAS could sponsor a tour to Iran?

    1. Dennis B. Swaney says:

      Iran would just arrest the tourists as they have done for years. There are several American tourists who have disappeared in Iran and were probably murdered by the terrorist regime in Iran.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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