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Fate of Achaemenid Tablets to be Discussed

Fate of Achaemenid Tablets to be DiscussedFate of Achaemenid Tablets to be Discussed

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has invited Mohammad Hassan Talebian, the cultural heritage deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, to inspect the Achaemenid tablets on loan to the institute and discuss their restitution.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency, Talebian said the invitation is under consideration.

“We have not yet responded to the invitation, but what’s clear is that we need to discuss the fate of the relics and how they’ll be returned to Iran and handled,” he said.

The clay tablets, dating back to the Achaemenid era (550 – 330 BC), are impressed in cuneiform and record administrative details of the ancient Persian empire.  Restitution of the tablets is contingent on a US court ruling, which has yet to be decided, Talebian said.

The 300 tablets are among a group of tens of thousands of tablets and tablet fragments that were loaned to the university in 1937 for studies.

In April, over 100 historical artifacts belonging to Iran were returned by the director of the institute, Gil Stein, after a court in The Hague ruled in favor of Iran and obliged the US-based institute to restitute the relics.