Iran News ...


05/06/09

Chicago University's Oriental Institute Digitalizing Persepolis tablets

Source: Press TV

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is using modern technology to digitalize the Elamite tablets from Iran's Persepolis.


source: Oriental Institute

 

The tablets, which were loaned to Chicago University to be studied in 1937, were discovered by the university's archeology team in 1933.

"They were written, sealed and filed in a short span of time, between 509 and 493 BCE, in the middle of the reign of the Achaemenid Persian king Darius I," said director of the Oriental Institute Gil Stein.

"The administration that these documents record touched every level of society, from lowly workers through bureaucrats and governors to the royal family itself."

Some of the tablets bear impressed cuneiform text, others bear inked Aramaic text and almost all have seal impressions.

Professor Matthew Stolper of the Oriental Institute studying one of the digitized tablets

According to an Oriental Institute report, the tablets are being recorded and distributed with digital processes to provide researchers with detailed information on the Persian Empire.

The project started in 2007 and will be complete by 2010, preparing about 10,000 recorded tablets and fragments.

Images of the tablets, the seal impressions and editions of the texts will also be made available online, offering scholars the opportunity to compare pieces and study the archive as a whole.

High-resolution images of about 200 Persepolis texts are available on the website of the West Semitic Research Project, inscriptifact.com and many others will be made available soon.

Images of about 150 more Persepolis tablets, along with editions and analytical tools, will soon be available at ochre.lib.uchicago.edu/index.htm.

The loaned tablets have been a source of controversy since an American Federal Judge ordered part of the collection to be confiscated and auctioned to compensate the Israeli victims of the 1997 Jerusalem bombing.

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