Achaemenid inscription names uncle of Darius in Old Persian for first time

April 13, 2008

TEHRAN -- The name of Farnaka, who was the uncle of Darius I, has been identified in a newly discovered Old Persian Achaemenid inscription for the first time.

Written in cuneiform, the stone inscription bears the names of Darius the Great and his uncle, Farnaka, the Persian service of CHN reported on Friday.
His name had previously only been found in historical texts written in other languages. Greek texts refer to him as Pharnaces and Elamite texts call him Parnaka.
“Sometime ago, I discovered the tablet at the foundation of a monument during an official mission,” archaeologist Shahrokh Razmju said.
Razmju and Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, who is a leading expert on several ancient languages, are trying to decipher the rest of the inscription, which has been damaged in some lines.
Razmju described Farnaka as an important official during the Achaemenid era and added, “The inscription also refers to Farnaka’s post as chief superintendent of receipts and payments.”
“The style of engraving of the tablet and the type of stone are different than similar inscriptions previously found in Persepolis,” Razmju explained.