Thursday, September 16, 2004

Unknown script on Jiroft insignia points to literate Sumerian neighbors

"During two excavation seasons at Jiroft, archeologists have found around 25 insignias and seals, dating back from the 3rd millennium BC to 2,300 years BC," announced team leader Dr. Yusef Majidzadeh, an Iranian born archeologist now living in France.

The insignias have had trademarks of ancient northern, southern, eastern and western parts of Persia, indicating Jiroft had been a trade hub for the whole nation, he added.

"Some of the seals depict an impression of snakes, mostly associated with ancient Pakistan and Afghanistan, while others portray Mesopotamian champions or squatting women hailing from Susa," Dr. Majidzadeh noted.

Iranian archeologists have concluded that ancient Persians packaged their goods inside earthenware vessels and/or jugs and then covered the lid with mud and sealed it with special insignias.

During the last season of excavation in Jiroft, in the southwestern province of Kerman, experts unearthed an insignia, measuring 3 cm in length and 2 cm in width, with some intriguing letters engraved on it.

Many great Iranian and foreign experts see the findings in Jiroft as signs of a civilization as great as that of Sumeria and Mesopotamia. Majidzadeh believes that Jiroft is the ancient city of Aratt mentioned in an Iraqi clay inscription as a great civilization."