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"Jiroft Inscription", Oldest Evidence of Written Language
Persian Journal ^ | Jan 12, 2006

Posted on 01/13/2006 10:24:48 AM PST by SunkenCiv

"Five Elamit professional linguists from different countries have studied the brick inscription discovered in Jiroft. According to the studies, they have concluded that this discovered inscription is 300 years older than that found in Susa; and most probably the written language went to Susa from this region. However, more studies are still needed to give a final approval to this thesis," said Yousof Majid Zadeh, head of archeological excavation team in Jiroft... Elamit language is only partly understood by scholars. It had no relationship to Sumerian, Semitic or Indo-European languages, and there are no modern descendants of it. After 3000 BC the Elamits developed a semi-pictographic writing system called Proto-Elamit. Later the cuneiform script was introduced.

(Excerpt) Read more at iranian.ws ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: archaeology; elamite; epigraphy; epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; jiroft; language; protoelamite

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1 posted on 01/13/2006 10:24:49 AM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: SunkenCiv
"Jiroft Inscription", Oldest Evidence of Written Language

"Marty Inscription", Newest Evidence of Written Language

2 posted on 01/13/2006 10:27:14 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: SunkenCiv

No, wait < -- this is.


3 posted on 01/13/2006 10:27:35 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: SunkenCiv

No, wait < -- THIS is.

Ah, I give up.


4 posted on 01/13/2006 10:27:51 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
related topic

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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5 posted on 01/13/2006 10:27:58 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this URL -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/pledge)
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To: martin_fierro

[virtual noogies]


6 posted on 01/13/2006 10:34:15 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this URL -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/pledge)
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To: SunkenCiv
[virtual noogies] <-- No, wait...
7 posted on 01/13/2006 10:35:58 AM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: martin_fierro

[virtual "too dah moon"]


8 posted on 01/13/2006 10:38:23 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this URL -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/pledge)
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Ancient Scripts
Lawrence Lo
http://www.ancientscripts.com/elamite.html


9 posted on 01/13/2006 10:39:46 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this URL -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/pledge)
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To: SunkenCiv

Inscription on the brick:

ACME BRICK


10 posted on 01/13/2006 11:31:49 AM PST by wildbill
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To: SunkenCiv

Studies by five linguists from the United States, France, Russia, Denmark, and Iran on a discovered inscription in Jiroft indicate that this Elamit script is 300 years older than that of the great civilization of Susa. Archeologists believe that Jiroft was the origin of Elamit written language in which the writing system developed first and was then spread across the country and reached Susa. The discovered inscription of Jiroft is the most ancient written script found so far.

The city of Jiroft is situated close to Halil Rud historical site. Halil Rud, located on the basin of Halil Rood River enjoyed a rich civilization. Many stone and clay objects as well as other historical evidence belonging to the third millennium BC have been discovered during the archeological excavations and also the illegal diggings by the smugglers in this area. 120 historical sites, including that of Jiroft, have been identified in the basin of the 400 kilometer length of Halil Rud River.

According to archeological studies, the history of Halil Rud area goes back to some 3000 years ago. The discovered stone dishes in the area belonging to the first half of the third millennium BC point to the developed art of carving on stones at that time.

"Five Elamit professional linguists from different countries have studied the brick inscription discovered in Jiroft. According to the studies, they have concluded that this discovered inscription is 300 years older than that found in Susa; and most probably the written language went to Susa from this region. However, more studies are still needed to give a final approval to this thesis," said Yousof Majid Zadeh, head of archeological excavation team in Jiroft.

"This inscription was discovered in a palace. Although it is not yet known which Elamit king this inscription belongs to, it is definitely an Elamit inscription. More studies are needed to determine the exact time in which it was inscribed, but most probably it is the most ancient written language. Further excavations are being carried out to find the rest of the inscription. However, what is obvious about this discovered inscription is that it is older than the Elamit inscription of Susa," explained Majidzadeh.

The inscription was carved on a brick, and only the lower left corner of it has been remained. Although only two lines with a few words are remained intact on this inscription, there is no doubt that it is an Elamit written script.

The most famous Elamit script is the Susinak inscription which was unearthed during archeological excavations in Susa. This inscription is most probably left from the reign of Susinak, Elamite king who ruled during the second half of the first millennium BC.

Elamit language is only partly understood by scholars. It had no relationship to Sumerian, Semitic or Indo-European languages, and there are no modern descendants of it. After 3000 BC the Elamits developed a semi-pictographic writing system called Proto-Elamit. Later the cuneiform script was introduced.

Archeological excavations are being carried out in north and south shores of the Halil Rud River in order to discover different dwellings and cemeteries in the region. The wide plundering of the historical and archeological relics by the smugglers led to the lost of a lot of these invaluable evidences. Most of these historical relics were taken out of the country. Although Iran is trying to redeem them, some of those who have collected these relics refuse to give them back claiming that these articles were not made in Iran and thus don't belong to this country. Iranian archeologists are trying to discover more evidence to prove Iran’s possession over these historical objects.

11 posted on 01/13/2006 12:15:45 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

When I read such articles it makes me sad that I never followed my dream of becoming and archeologist.


12 posted on 01/13/2006 5:50:12 PM PST by Dustbunny (Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged. The Gipper)
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To: SunkenCiv

Interesting. I have read that Elamite might be in the Dravidian Language family.


13 posted on 01/13/2006 7:33:31 PM PST by Ptarmigan (Proud bunny hater and killer)
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To: SunkenCiv

Was the brick made with straw?


14 posted on 01/13/2006 8:52:00 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Wait a minute. We vacationed right there two
years ago. My grandson, just before we left,
came running up to me and said, "Grandpa! Come
see the funny writing I left."

I didn't go because I had a bad headache from
the son.

I had to disappoint you all, but. . . .


15 posted on 01/13/2006 8:55:39 PM PST by righttackle44 (The most dangerous weapon in the world is a Marine with his rifle and the American people behind him)
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To: Dustbunny

"When I read such articles it makes me sad that I never followed my dream of becoming and archeologist."

It's a great career if you hate health insurance or making a decent living.


16 posted on 01/14/2006 6:12:48 AM PST by adam_az (It's the border, stupid!)
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To: Ciexyz

... and it said....

"Made in China."


17 posted on 01/14/2006 6:17:19 AM PST by XEHRpa
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To: Ptarmigan

Elamite, from Dravidian? Hmm... I don't believe that what is known of Elamite indicates that it is agglutinative, which Dravidian is. From the link I (think I) posted before...

"Unlike their Mesopotamian neighbors which had more than 700 signs, the Elamite cuneiform only contained 145 signs, where 113 were syllabograms, twenty five were logograms, and seven were determinatives."

This is kinda cool...

http://www.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsAnAgglutinativeLanguage.htm


18 posted on 01/14/2006 9:45:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: Ciexyz

Well, yeah, but they had to glean the straw by night. ;')


19 posted on 01/14/2006 9:56:10 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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speaking of Susa...
John Philip Sousa

20 posted on 01/14/2006 9:57:30 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: SunkenCiv

The links you've posted in this thread are very interesting, esp. the "ancient scripts" site. I recommend a visit to those interested in the development of ancient languages.


21 posted on 01/15/2006 8:31:22 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Good for another bump.


22 posted on 01/16/2006 1:59:05 PM PST by Ciexyz (Let us always remember, the Lord is in control.)
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To: SunkenCiv

That's what I have read. Elamite is agglutinative from what I have read. Elamite is an language isolate like Ainu, Basque, Sumerian, and Etruscan.


23 posted on 01/16/2006 4:12:04 PM PST by Ptarmigan (Proud bunny hater and killer)
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To: Ptarmigan

I found some wikiwackypedia stuff on that, but that's verboten.

Possibly was based in part on this:
http://www.governpub.com/Languages-E/Elamite.php

However, it also mentioned this paper by this guy, and luckily it was online:
http://starling.rinet.ru/Texts/elam.pdf

The idea of an affinity apparently originated in 1856, which is around the time when cuneiform was being read. Once cuneiform was cracked as a writing system, almost anything in the writing system could be pronounced. In at least one case, an otherwise unknown language was discovered on a single tablet in the Amarna archive, and translated with the help of context from other tablets in that cache.

Also according to that PDF paper, in its modern form the idea was championed by a scholar in the mid 1970s, and has mostly just sat there since, as no large newly discovered Elamite archive has turned up.


24 posted on 01/16/2006 7:43:39 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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update:

The fifth season of excavations of archeological mounds of Konar-Sandal around Jiroft in the Kerman Province has led to the discovery of two more stone inscriptions dating back to the first half of the third millennium B.C.

Three other stone tablets have previously been discovered on the 5,000 year old site.

Professor Piotr Steinkeller of Harvard University in his recent essay on the discovery in the area has called it "Eastern Script", as distinct from Elamite.

The Konar-Sandal archaeological excavation team, consisting of Iranian and foreign experts as well as the head of the team Yusef Majidzadeh, have given the name "Royal" to the newly identified inscriptions.

However some specialists say, since the scripts have not been decoded yet, such a theory is not acceptable.

Inscriptions found earlier in Konar-Sandal's ziggurat suggest Jiroft was the origin of Elamite written language which then spread across the country and reached Susa.

Jiroft is located close to the Halil Rud historical site which, according to abundant evidence, was one of the first places where civilization was established.


Ancient stone tablets identified in Jiroft

25 posted on 03/30/2007 10:06:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Saturday, March 24, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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26 posted on 11/27/2009 7:29:03 PM PST by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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