Sunday, February 5, 2023

New Sassanid Inscription Found in Iran’s Ancient Site Naqsh-e Rustam

Archeologists in Iran have reported the discovery of a new inscription dating back to the Sassanid (Sasanian) Empire in Naqsh-e Rustam, an ancient royal necropolis in southern Iran.

Director of Persepolis World Heritage Site said on Monday that the new inscription has been discovered amid a series of archaeological operations and protective works at the ancient site.

“It seems we’d be able to find a large number of these inscriptions with more digs, because this site is very mysterious and uncharted,” Hamid Fadaee said.

There are a lot of inscriptions and decorated reliefs at the top of Mount Hussein, which ends to Naqsh-e Rustam, he noted, saying many of those stone reliefs have not been discovered yet.

“At present, a new inscription inscribed in Pahlavi script and dating back to the Sasanian Empire has been found in this place, as the experts are reading it,” he said.

Iran's Naqsh-e Rustam in Photos
Iran’s Naqsh-e Rustam in Photos

“It appears that it has been a sacred site, and apart from the wall, there are ruins of a citadel and fortifications dating from the Achaemenid Empire, as well as signs of underground relics including earthenware objects, signifying the presence of various empires in this site. This part of Naqsh-e Rustam has been less discovered,” Fadaee explained.

The official also noted that two major archeological workshops have been established at the site of Naqsh-e Rustam during the last year, saying the bigger one was located at the tomb of Xerxes I.

“Good works have been carried in the sphere of emergency protection at the tomb,” Fadaee added, saying four experts of restoration of archeological sites and a master are working on the tomb of Xerxes I.

“Undoubtedly, we will be witnessing many events at the top of this mountain. The façade that is located at the bottom of the mountain stretches also to the top of the mountain for around five kilometers with great thickness,” he explained.

Almost all visitors normally see the front façade of Naqsh-e Rustam, where the rock-cut tombs are located, but one should not forget that Naqsh-e Rustam is a very large complex whose major and unseeable section is located at the top of Mount Hussein, known as the necropolis, the official noted.

Fadaee said the necropolis was at the height of its splendor during the Achaemenid Empire, noting that ancient relics dating back to the Elamite periods have been also found in the site.

He finally pointed to the efforts to inscribe Naqsh-e Rustam on the World Heritage List, saying the case of this ancient site will complement Persepolis.

Five experts on protection of archeological sites and archeology are currently working in Naqsh-e Rustam to compile the information necessary for completing the case in practice, he concluded.

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