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Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 521 BC
Date of Inscription: 2006
Location: Middle East, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Province of Kermanshah
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Description: Bisotun is placed on the ancient trade route that links the Iranian high plateau with Mesopotamia; hence it features vestiges from the prehistoric times to the Median, Achaemenid, Sassanian, and Ilkhanid periods. This archaeological site’s foremost monument is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription, which was ordered by Darius I, The Great, upon rising to the throne of the Persian Empire in 521 BC. The bas-relief depicts Darius clutching a bow - sign of sovereignty - and tramping on the chest of a body that lies on his back before him. According to legend, the figure represents Gaumata, the Median Magus who pretended to own the throne, and whose assassination led to the Darius’ gain of power. Surrounding the bas-reliefs are some 1200 inscriptions, telling the history of the Darius’ battles in 521-520 BC against the governors who tried to destroy an empire founded by Cuirass. The inscriptions are written in three languages, the oldest of these is the text of Elam, which related the legends of the king and the rebellions of the time. This is followed by the Babylonian version of the same legends. The last phase of the inscriptions is particularly important, as Darius is introduced for the first time in the ancient Persian language of res gestae. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  The Behistun Inscription (also Bisitun or Bisutun, Modern Persian: بیستون ; Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the god's place or land") is a multi-lingual inscription located in the Kermanshah Province of Iran. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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