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Following my first concise decoding of the
Kharg Island newly found cuneiform inscription, now I find it necessary
again to give, in detail, my own comments and suggestions in English.
First of all, it is our duty to mention that the first person who
informed the Linguistics, Inscriptions, and Texts Research Center (LITRC)
about the appearance of this inscription was revered Prof. Dr. Sarfaraz,
whom we should profoundly appreciate for his opportune attention.
Immediately, being informed on November
14th, 2007, I was given a mission to see the inscription. Therefore, the
next morning on Thursday, November 15th, I took a flight to Kharg and
arrived in there at around ten o'clock. There I was accompanied to the
site of the inscription by some state officials including Mr. Heydari,
the Governor, and Mr. Jazebi, the Deputy Governor of Kharg, along with
the representatives of the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and
Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) in Bushehr, and Prof. Sarfaraz, and two
other local archaeologists, Mr. Bazyar and Mr. Ebrahimi. There I
gathered all the necessary information and needed provisions and
returned to Theran, to read the inscription.
As it has already been mentioned the
inscription is carved on a coral rock in Old Persian semi-syllabic
cuneiform signs. Despite the usually well-ordered regular system of
Achaemenid inscriptions, this one is in an unusual order written in five
lines. The first three lines are separated with a space of 8cm from the
second two lines which are very awkwardly engraved.
Of course, the cuneiform signs of the
syllables are very well and correctly engraved. Except for the
abovementioned peculiarities, there are two other engraved signs between
the text. One is a three-angled crown-looking sign at the beginning of
the third line, and the other is a curved scratched line between the
third and fourth lines which is proceeded in below coming paragraphs.
The below coning tentative decoding of the
inscription was carried out through referring to almost all Persian rock
and artifact inscriptions, while studying, at the same time, the other
contemporary and coincidental Elamite and also some Avestan, the Old
Persian's closest cognate language texts.
1 a ha .ha
2 sa a na . .a a s.na . ..
3 za ha ma i vazahamai
4 ba ha na ma . bahanama
5 xa a x.
"The not irrigated land was (became) happy
(with) my bringing out (water).
The only one word in the first line is .ha
from the radical .ah1, "to be, to become, ...", impf. 3rd sg, "was,
The second line contains two words. One is
read as sa a na > s.na. This word was not found in any of the Old
Persian cuneiform texts, but in Achaemenid Elamite (Persepolis
Fortification Tablets), either sa-a-in or sa,-in and sa-a-na (PF572:7f;9500:10)
are attested and are translated as "not irrigated land", which serve as
qualification of grain, in contrast to HAL.A, meaning "place (of)
water", or "irrigated land". The second word reads as .. from the ..y.
is an adjective meaning "happy, glad".
The third line, as mentioned, begins with a
fallen three-angled crown-looking engraved shape. Actually, it shouldn't
be a real crown, but I prefer to discern it a corruption of the
cuneiform sign for the syllable va, and later manipulated into the shape
of a crown. Therefore, I suggest a transliteration of the corrupted and
broken third line as va za ha ma i > vazahamai, a noun with enclitic
first person possessive pronoun: vazah n. from the verb .vaz, meaning
"to bring, to offer, to flow". Vazahamai; "my offer, my flow".
The fourth line can either be read as the
name of a person, transliterated as ba ha na > bahana, with the
accusative (-ma), or it can be matched with an Elamite word read
as pa ha nu, meaning "prince".
The last line consists of one word
transliterated as xa a > x., which is a noun plural (NP), nominative and
accusative of substantive xan, meaning "wells, quells".
Linguistics, Inscriptions, and Texts
Research Institute to the Iranian
Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization