People, Travel

Bricks and Stones of Susa Come Alive

 Bricks and Stones of Susa Come Alive
 Bricks and Stones of Susa Come Alive

The 75-year-old expert on the Avestan, Pahlavi and Elamite languages was assigned in early June to decipher the brick and stone inscriptions kept at the Shoosh Castle near Susa, the capital of ancient Elam civilization, located in modern Khuzestan Province.

Abdolmajid Arfaee, a graduate of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago, is currently working on a collection of 2,300 inscriptions at Shoosh castle.

Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. The high empire of Elam was increasingly identified by the second low-lying capital called Susiana by geographers after Ptolemy.

The inscriptions are transferred into standard storage cabinets after identification and classification, Arfaee told IRNA. Most inscriptions of the ancient collection date back to 2250 BC, he added.

The historical city of Susa is planned to be registered on the World Heritage List in 2015. For this to happen, Iran should first decipher the inscriptions of the site.

Elamite culture played a crucial role during the Persian Achaemenid Dynasty that succeeded Elam.

The modern name of the province Khuzestan is derived from the Persian name for Susa: old Persian Hujiya "Elam", later as Middle Persian Huz "Susiana", which gave modern Persian Xuz, compounded with the suffix stan "place".

Code of Hammurabi

In 1901, Gustave Jequier, a member of an expedition headed by Jacques de Morgan, discovered the Code of Hammurabi near the Shoosh Castle, which had been taken as booty by the Elamite king Shutruk Nahhunte in 12th century BC.

The Code of Hammurabi is a stele bearing the most complete and perfect extant collection of Babylonian laws developed during the reign of the 6th Babylonian king, Hammurabi, 1792–1750 BC. It is now preserved in the Louvre.