Rock-carved tombstone discovered near Persepolis
TEHRAN – A researcher has found an ancient tombstone in Naqsh-e Rostam, one of the Wonders of the Ancient World near Persepolis in southern Iran.
The tombstone bears inscriptions in Pahlavi, a Middle Persian (sometimes referred to as Middle Iranian) language, meaning they date mainly from the end of the Achaemenian dynasty (559–330 BC) to the advent of Islam in the 7th century AD . has been used.
“The rocky landscape of Naqsh-e Rostam has long been the site of various burials from the Sassanid period (and after)… related to Zoroastrian monks who lived at the site,” ILNA quoted Iranian researcher Abolhassan Atabaki as saying on Sunday.
The reason for the variety and extent of such burials is the large population of Istakhar (the ritual birthplace of the Sassanid kings), which is in close proximity to the rocks of Nakhsh-e Rostam, he explained.
“For this reason, the people of Istakhar and the surrounding villages buried their bodies in the manner customary at the time; They were buried in pits made in rocks or rocks.”
The burial of the dead in the crevices of the rocks is due to the fact that Zoroastrian believers in the Sasanian period believed that the ground was a dark and demonic world, and on the other hand they believed that the body of a deceased person was impure, the researcher explained.
“They believed that the ‘sacred element of the soil’ would be contaminated by corpses. For this reason they refused to bury the dead in earth.”
Atabaki said the discovery of another epitaph in his investigations at the heart of Nakhsh-e Rostam.
At the end he added the text of all the inscriptions that we have discovered in recent years that have been published in conferences, journals and also in a book entitled Burials of Fars written by Najmeh Ebrahimi.
Naqsh-e Rostam is home to spectacular massive rock tombs and bas-reliefs. The majestic site includes four tombs housing Persian Achaemenid kings believed to be those of Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I (from left to right facing the cliff ), although some historians still debate this.
Naqsh-e Rostam, meaning “Image of Rostam”, is named after a mythical Iranian hero most celebrated in Shahnameh and Persian mythology. In the past, the region’s natives wrongly assumed that the carvings beneath the tombs were depictions of the mythical hero.
Above the burial chambers there are stunning relief carvings resembling those at Persepolis, with the kings standing on thrones and supported by figures representing the nations below. There are also two similar tombs in the Persepolis site, which probably belong to Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III.
Below the burial chambers, bas-reliefs from seven Sasanian eras (224–651) are carved into the cliff, depicting vivid scenes of imperial conquests and royal ceremonies; Placards under each relief give a detailed description in English.