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HOME   -   ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORDS   -   BEHISTUN ROCK

 
   


Behistun Rock Inscription
BEHISTUN ROCK
 

Behistun Rock

 



Behistun, Bisitun, or Bisotun is the word for an ancient village and a steep rock located in today's Iran. Bisitun became an official UNESCO World Heritage Site. The year? 2006.

Back in the days, Persian king Darius I carved an inscription in cuneiform into this rock wall.

What in the world is cuneiform?

 

This wall was situated at the roadside along the highway which led from Ecbatana to Babylon. Here is the map, look between Ecbatana and Babylon, it's labeled "Bisitun"

Achaemenian Empire
Behistun Map - Click to enlarge



Darius wanted to make sure people would understand, so he chiseled away in three languages, Babylonian, Ancient Persian, and Elamite.

Fast forward to the year 1835 and we have Major Henry Rawlinson of the East India Company in a semi-orgasmic state, as he managed to make sense of some alphabet and grammar. Eventually, Rawlinson deciphered the Persian part of the inscription. The rest was decoded shortly after.


What did Darius write about?

In a nutshell, Darius wrote about his royal doings from 522 until 520 BC, which included killing Gaumata and other rebels, and keeping his empire organized.

Here is the translation.

 

 


 



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