Behistun Inscription
Iran, Hamadan

The bas-relief and cuneiform text on the Behistun rock is an ancient monument of cave writing in Iran. Behistun rock is located in the province of Kermanshah near the highway that connects the cities of Kermanshah and Hamadan. The bas-relief and text carved on stone were made by order of King Darius in the 6th century BC. In the 19th century, the English scholar Rawlinson deciphered the inscriptions and discovered that the inscriptions were made in three languages - ancient Persian, Elamite and Babylonian. The content of the inscription dates back to 520 BC and tells of events related to the struggle for power, the suppression of rebellions and the accession to the throne of the Persian state, King Darius the First. On a stone bas-relief in the royal crown, King Darius himself is depicted, under whose foot lies a defeated rebel named Gaumata, and the other eight captive opponents are standing in front of the king. Above King Darius, the god Ahura Mazda is depicted, with hand gestures blessing Darius to the royal throne. The stone bas-relief is made at an altitude of 105 meters from the ground. The rock section under the bas-relief is a stone slope without platforms or ledges. After completing the work, the craftsmen aligned the vertical part of the rock so that no one could damage or change the image. Due to the lack of access to the cave painting, it is well preserved and is considered the most valuable epigraphic monument of antiquity. In 2006, a rock bas-relief with an inscription on Behistun rock was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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