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Discovery of the Second Persian Geometrical Inscription

July 26, 2007


The second Persian geometrical inscription which was carved in Kaftarli (Kaftarlou) hill have been discovered in Akhtarabad region in Shahryar. Due to the similarity of this geometrical writing with those previously found in Susa clay stamps and Jiroft’s inscription, experts estimate that this newly discovered geometrical inscription must have dated back to at least 5000 years ago.

After Kan Charmee inscription which was discovered previous year in northern Kurdistan, this is the second geometrical inscription ever found in Iran. Regarding the antiquity of this inscription, Reza Moradi Ghiasabadi, archeologist and researcher, says: “Based on the signs implemented in creating this geometrical writing and its similarity to Susa stamps, it is believed that it must have belonged to 4200 to 4500 years ago. On the other hand, due to the rate of oxidization, we give the possibility that the inscription must have been more ancient.”

Pointing out that this discovery can provide archeologists the chance to trace the trend of geometrical writing development in Iran, Ghiasabadi added: “This inscription is closely resemble those ones previously discovered by Dr. Majidzadeh in Konar Sandal hill in Jiroft historic site in Kerman province which go as far back as the third millennium BC. However, since the writing discovered in Konar Sandal is somehow more developed than this newly discovered one, we give the possibility that Kaftarli (Kaftarlou) inscription must have been more ancient with 5500 years antiquity.”

According to this archeologist, unfortunately most parts of the inscription have been severely damaged over time and totally 10 signs which are not even in a correct order have been identified. That is why archeologists have faced a real problem for documenting and decoding this ancient inscription.

Prior to this, Walter Hintz succeeded in decoding some parts of the Susa geometrical writing. Results achieved due to the efforts of this researcher may be used as a guide for finding about the approximate meanings of Kaftarlou inscription.

“Designs of animals such as goat, boar, camel, and hunting scenes can be also seen next to this inscription. With taking a look at these designs, we can somehow get acquainted with the environmental condition of Shahryar plain during ancient times and trend of domestication of animals in this region,” said Ghiasabadi.

This archeologist further explained about existence of a smaller inscription on which the Arabesque phrase of “La ela Lalah” (there is no God except the single God) can be read and a Kufic script next to Kaftarlou inscription. “Existence of these inscriptions belonging to Islamic period (651 AD) is considered invaluable for determining the exact age of Kaftarlou inscription. Making a compare between the amount of oxidation between these two Islamic writings and Kaftarlou historical inscription and the engraved animals may provide archeologists a more accurate approach to clarify the exact age of Kaftarlou geometrical inscription,” added Ghiasabadi.

The initial report of this inscription is due to be released within a few weeks, however considering the rate of damage of this historic inscription, preparing the final report may take several years.

Translation: Soudabeh Sadigh

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