Iranian doc to spotlight Achaemenid tablets in Chicago

June 27, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Iranian documentarian Orod Atapur plans to make a film on Iran’s Achaemenid tablets, which have been confiscated by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

He has recently completed his studies for the documentary to be entitled “Persepolis-Chicago”, the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency reported on Thursday.
Atapur is currently writing the screenplay and Sima Film, a studio affiliated to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, will finance the production.
According to the Oriental Institute director Gil Stein, the institute currently holds 8000 to 10,000 intact tablets and about 11,000 fragments.
The tablets were discovered by the University of Chicago archaeologists in 1933 while they were excavating in Persepolis, the site of a major Oriental Institute excavation.
The artifacts bear cuneiform script explaining administrative details of the Achaemenid Empire and date from about 500 BC. They are among a group of tens of thousands of tablets and tablet fragments that were loaned to the Oriental Institute in 1937 for study. A group of 179 complete tablets was returned in 1948, and another group of more than 37,000 tablet fragments was returned in 1951.
In spring 2006, U.S. District Court Judge Blanche Manning ruled that a group of people injured by a 1997 bombing in Israel could seize 300 Achaemenid clay tablets loaned to the University of Chicago and the university cannot protect Iran’s ownership rights to the artifacts.
Iran protested against the ruling and initiated legal proceedings, which so far have not produced any results.