Millennia-old relief unveiled in Shiraz

January 31, 2019 - 0:59

TEHRAN – A millennia-old bas-relief inscription which has been discovered from Naqsh-e Rostam, a royal necropolis in southern Iran, was officially unveiled in Shiraz on Tuesday, Mehr reported.

The event was attended by tens of local officials, archaeologists, and academia. One of speakers, Wouter Henkelman, a France-based scholar who addressed attendees via video conference, called the discovery as unprecedented occasion over the past half a century.

Henkelman is an associate professor at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris), where he is responsible for Elamite and Achaemenid studies.

Named D.N.F., The relief was hidden from view by large amount of algae and sediments for over 2,500 years, the report said.

The discovery is also important in the arena of ancient linguistics, Henkelman said, adding that the inscription contains valuable information about the archives of Persepolis.

It will add to our discoveries and previous knowledge of the Achaemenids (550–330 BC), he stated.

Meaning “Picture of Rostam”, the site is named after mythical Iranian hero which is most celebrated in Shahnameh and Persian mythology. Back in time, natives of the region had erroneously supposed that the carvings below the tombs represent depictions of the mythical hero.

Naqsh-e Rostam embraces four tombs are where Persian Achaemenid kings are laid to rest, believed to be those of Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I (from left to right facing the cliff), although some historians are still debating this.

Beneath the funerary chambers are dotted with seven Sassanian era (224–651) bas-reliefs cut into the cliff depict vivid scenes of imperial conquests and royal ceremonies; signboards below each relief give a detailed description in English.