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Inscriptions Found in Haft Tepe Ready to be Decoded

Last year, excavations by the joint Iranian-German archeology team led to discovery of 300 inscriptions in the historical site of Haft Tepe, 60 of which have been restored and are now ready to be deciphered.

Tehran, 1 August 2006 (CHN) -- Experts of Haft Tepe project have succeeded in restoring 60 clay tablets which were discovered in this historical site during archeological excavations carried out by the Iranian-German joint team.

According to the experts of Haft Tepe project, some 300 clay tablets in cuneiform and Akkadian languages belonging to the Middle Elamite period were discovered during the joint excavations by the Iranian archeologists and Mainz University of Germany in Haft Tepe. These inscriptions were discovered under the floor of a room which seems to be their original place. All these clay tablets had a cubic rectangular form but were different in size.

Behzad Mofidi, head of excavation team in Haft Tepe believes that these inscriptions are the official documents of Kabnak historical city in Haft Tepe dating back to some 3500 years ago which were archived in the southern part of this city.

Archeological evidence revealed that the place where these inscriptions were kept must have been set on fire either deliberately or unintentionally which resulted in destruction of the documents including the list of the storage devices.

The clay tablets suffered serious damages due to the fire, humidity, sediments, and other natural causes over time and needed to be repaired. Thus they were transferred to the restoration workshop of Haft Tepe to be restored by experts. The priority was given to those which were in a better condition, hoping that they can be restored completely.

The study on the restored clay tablets will be undertaken by Professor Doris Prechel, ancient eastern linguist of Mainz University in Germany. It is anticipated that the outcome of these studies would reveal some important information about the civilization of Haft Tepe historical site.

Haft Tepe, literary translated as "Seven Hills", is an archeological site situated in Khuzestan province, southwest Iran. Haft Tepe is known to be the remains of the Elamite city of Kabnak which was discovered in 1908. The site is between Susa and Tchogha Zanbil and dates back to the 15th century BC. Three parts have been identified so far during archeological excavations in this historical site, including a temple with the royal tomb, the palace area, and the artisans' quarter.

Haft Tepe was first surveyed by the French archeologist, Jacques de Morgan in 1908. The site was excavated in the period from 1965 through 1978 by a mission led by the Iranian archeologist, Negahban. Since 2003, excavations have been carried out by a team of Iranian-German archeologists, headed by Behzad Mofidi.

This large Elamite site, composed of many individual mounds, forms an imposing mass rising about the surrounding plain. The ancient remains of Haft Tepe have long been a prominent feature of the Khuzestan Plain. This is one of the most important historical sites of Iran.

... Payvand News - 8/1/06 ... --

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