The Behistun Mountain is recognized the temple for worshipping the ancient gods of Iran. Of course, it would have be… From Persepolis to Jerusalem: A Reevaluation of Old Persian-Hebrew Contact in the Achaemenid Period, Artist or Architect: Darius the Great, ruled 522–486 BCE, Offbeat Fact: The earliest known example of political propaganda, Languages: Old Persian, Elamite, Akkadian. In fact, there are huge gaps in the history contained in the Bible. Darius tells us how the supreme gods Ahuramazda choose him to dethrone a … Albeit what they write is mostly propaganda like Ramesses II victory monument over the Hittites. 2, pp. This time he crossed the chasm between the Persian and Elamite scripts by bridging the gap with planks, subsequently copying the Elamite inscription. The legend states that, exiled for his transgression, Farhad was given the task of cutting away the mountain to find water; if he succeeded, he would be given permission to marry Shirin. Located at the foot of the Zagros Mountains in western Iran near the modern town of Bisitun, the Behistun Rock was commissioned by King Darius I … The inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script. Behistun Inscription 2 November, 2016 - 20:46 dhwty The Behistun Inscription is an engraving located on the cliff of Mount Behistun (said to have had the meaning of ‘place where the gods dwell’ in antiquity). The Bible does not record all history. In the first section of the inscription, Darius the Great declares his ancestry and lineage: King Darius says: My father is Hystaspes [Vištâspa]; the father of Hystaspes was Arsames [Aršâma]; the father of Arsames was Ariaramnes [Ariyâramna]; the father of Ariaramnes was Teispes [Cišpiš]; the father of Teispes was Achaemenes [Haxâmaniš]. The Behistun Inscription (also Bisotun, Bistun or Bisutun; Persian: بیستون, Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the place of god") is a multilingual inscription and large rock relief on a cliff at Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran, established by Darius the Great (r. 522–486 BC). The Behistun Inscription. By matching the names and the characters, Rawlinson deciphered the type of cuneiform used for Old Persian by 1838 and presented his results to the Royal Asiatic Society in London and the Société Asiatique in Paris. Behistun Inscription. The inscription accompanies a bas-relief depicting the victory of Darius over the pretender Gaumata, where the victor stands over the fallen and above them hovers Ahura Mazda represented here as a king within a winged solar disc. See Tavernier (2001) for more specifics about the Aramaic script. With the Persian text, and with about a third of the syllabary made available to him by the work of Georg Friedrich Grotefend, Rawlinson set to work on deciphering the text. The translation of the Old Persian sections of the Behistun Inscription paved the way to the subsequent ability to decipher the Elamite and Babylonian parts of the text, which greatly promoted the development of modern Assyriology. She suggests that the written portion was meant not only for public consumption but that there was likely a ritual component, that the text was a message to the cosmos about the king.  Later expeditions, in 1904 sponsored by the British Museum and led by Leonard William King and Reginald Campbell Thompson and in 1948 by George G. Cameron of the University of Michigan, obtained photographs, casts and more accurate transcriptions of the texts, including passages that were not copied by Rawlinson. Behistun Inscription. The inscription is important for many reasons, not least for being the key to the decipherment of the cuneiform script which was used for the Old Persian, Babylonian and Elamite versions of the inscription. A version of the Behistun inscription written in Aramaic (the same language of the Dead Sea Scrolls) was discovered on a papyrus scroll in Egypt, probably written during the early years of the reign of Darius II, about a century after the DB was carved into the rocks. 392–416, 1938, Paul J. Kosmin, A New Hypothesis: The Behistun Inscription as Imperial Calendar, Iran - Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies, August 2018, This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 16:22. In the Behistun Inscription, Darius explains why he has the right to rule. Israeli historian Nadav Na'aman has suggested (2015) that the Behistun inscription may have been a source for the Old Testament story of Abraham's victory over the four powerful Near Eastern kings. The inscription was illustrated by a life-sized bas-relief of Darius I, the Great, holding a bow as a sign of kingship, with his left foot on the chest of a figure lying on his back before him. The inscription can be found on Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran and proclaims the glories and victories of this ancient king. Archeological evidence indicates that this region became a human shelter 40,000 years ago. The figures show the crowned Persian king Darius I stepping on Guatama (his predecessor and rival) and nine rebel leaders standing before him connected by ropes around their necks. King Darius says: By the grace of Ahuramazda am I king; Ahuramazda has granted me the kingdom. One figure appears to have been added after the others were completed, as was Darius's beard, which is a separate block of stone attached with iron pins and lead. Gods, Kings, Men: Trilingual Inscriptions and Symbolic Visualizations in the Achaemenid Empire. The Behistun Inscription is a relief with accompanying text carved 330 feet (100 meters) up a cliff in Kermanshah Province, Western Iran.  In 1604, Italian explorer Pietro della Valle visited the inscription and made preliminary drawings of the monument. King Darius says: That is why we are called Achaemenids; from antiquity we have been noble; from antiquity has our dynasty been royal. 59–68, 1960, W. C. Benedict and Elizabeth von Voigtlander, Darius' Bisitun Inscription, Babylonian Version, Lines 1–29, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol. The inscription is mentioned by Ctesias of Cnidus, who noted its existence some time around 400 BC and mentioned a well and a garden beneath the inscription. Grotefend had deciphered ten of the 37 symbols of Old Persian by 1802, after realizing that unlike the Semitic cuneiform scripts, Old Persian text is alphabetic and each word is separated by a vertical slanted symbol.. 47–54, 1951, George G. Cameron, The Elamite Version of the Bisitun Inscriptions, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol. E. Denison Ross, The Broadway Travellers: Sir Anthony Sherley and his Persian Adventure, Routledge, 2004, Carsten Niebuhr, Reisebeschreibung von Arabien und anderen umliegenden Ländern, 2 volumes, 1774 and 1778. The ancient billboard includes four panels of cuneiform writing around a set of three-dimensional figures, cut deep into a limestone cliff. Rubio, Gonzalo. Sometime after his coronation, Darius ordered an inscription to be carved on a limestone cliff of Mount Behistun in modern Iran. ... Why is the Behistun Inscription useful? No worldly source can help us as the Bible does! That wasn't always the case. The most important mention of Ahura Mazda from this period is the Behistun Inscription written by Darius I in 516 BCE. There are 18 historical monuments other than the inscription of Darius the Great in the Behistun complex that have been registered in the Iranian national list of historical sites. Authored by Darius the Great sometime between his coronation as king of the Persian Empire in the summer of 522 BC and his death in autumn of 486 BC, the inscription begins with a brief autobiography of Darius, including his ancestry and lineage. This inscription was written in three languages, and is accompanied by a large rock relief. Discovery of the Behistun Rock The discovery and copying of the inscription. Darius the Great proclaimed himself victorious in all battles during the period of upheaval, attributing his success to the "grace of Ahura Mazda". A legend began around Mount Behistun (Bisotun), as written about by the Persian poet and writer Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh (Book of Kings) c. 1000 AD, about a man named Farhad, who was a lover of King Khosrow's wife, Shirin.  Niebuhr's transcriptions were used by Georg Friedrich Grotefend and others in their efforts to decipher the Old Persian cuneiform script. Ascent to monarchy. He claims royal blood lineage through four generations to the eponymous Achaemenes, the father of Teispes, who was the great-grandfather of Cyrus. The Bible is the only ancient, well-organized and authentic framework in which to fit all the facts of history. After many years and the removal of half the mountain, he did find water, but was informed by Khosrow that Shirin had died. In 1598, the Englishman Robert Sherley saw the inscription during a diplomatic mission to Persia on behalf of Austria, and brought it to the attention of Western European scholars. G. Mysteries Unearthed. "", Relief of Frâda: "This is Frâda. , Ancient multilingual stone inscription in Iran. Bas relief of Mithridates II of Parthia and bas relief of Gotarzes II of Parthia and Sheikh Ali khan Zangeneh text endowment, Damaged equestrian relief of Gotarzes II at Behistun, The Anubanini rock relief, also called Sarpol-i Zohab, of the Lullubi king Anubanini, dated to c. 2300 BC, and which is located not far from the Behistun reliefs at Sarpol-e Zahab, is very similar to the reliefs at Behistun. Darius I has been recognized as the earliest known historian of Persia and the Behistun Inscription relief is known as the earliest Iranian historical account. It was crucial to the decipherment of cuneiform script as the inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian (a variety of Akkadian). 1–10, 1956, The Sculptures and Inscription of Darius the Great on the Rock of Behistûn in Persia/The Persian Text, Shapur I's inscription at the Ka'ba-ye Zartosht, https://www.google.com/books/edition/_/BDKqBgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0, "Documentation of Behistun Inscription Nearly Complete", "Iran's Bisotoon Historical Site Registered in World Heritage List", An Attempt at an Outline of the Early Medo-Persian History, founded on the Rock-Inscriptions of Behistun taken in combination with the Accounts of Herodotus and Ctesias, "Oriental Institute | Oriental Institute Seminars (OIS)", Full translation of the Behistun Inscription, Tolman's English translation of the inscription text, "Bisotun receives its World Heritage certificate", 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire, Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region, List of cities, towns and villages in Kermanshah Province, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Behistun_Inscription&oldid=992880095, Buildings and structures in Kermanshah Province, Tourist attractions in Kermanshah Province, Articles with dead external links from October 2016, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Persian-language text, Pages using multiple image with auto scaled images, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Rawlinson, along with several other scholars, most notably Edward Hincks, Julius Oppert, William Henry Fox Talbot, and Edwin Norris, either working separately or in collaboration, eventually deciphered these inscriptions, leading eventually to the ability to read them completely. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Biography of Darius the Great, Leader of Persia's Achaemenid Empire, Rulers of the Persian Empire: Expansionism of Cyrus and Darius, Persepolis (Iran) - Capital City of the Persian Empire, Cuneiform: Mesopotamian Writing in Wedges, Cyrus the Great - Persian Achaemenid Dynasty Founder, Biography of Xerxes, King of Persia, Enemy of Greece, Important Kings of the Ancient Middle East, Ancient Sources on Persian or Iranian History, History of Animal and Plant Domestication, Persianate Contribution to the Study of Antiquity: E'temad Al-Saltaneh's Nativisation of the Qajars, From Babylon to Bergen: On the Usefulness of Aligned Texts. The figures are carved 300 feet (90 meters) above the Royal Road of the Achaemenids, known today as the Kermanshah-Tehran highway in Iran. It gives a voice to a long forgotten people. 2, pp. Long before it was Iran, this region was known as Persia, and it was the center of some of the greatest empires the world has ever known. The inscription has been measured to be about 15 m (49 ft) in height and 25 m (82 ft) in width, and was created by the Achaemenid king, Darius I in 521 BC. Darius is attended to the left by two servants, and nine one-meter figures stand to the right, with hands tied and rope around their necks, representing conquered peoples. ) in 515 B.C recovered of them are: Herakles why is the behistun inscription important Behistun, sculpted for Seleucis... Most notable of all the facts of history succeeded in deciphering the cuneiform. Been undertaking conservation works. 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