Second Iron Age Cuneiform Inscription Discovered in Rabat Tepe


Dec 10, 2006

For the second time, archeologists at the historic site of Rabat Tepe, northwest Iran, succeeded in discovering several bricks belonging to a cuneiform inscription in Assyrian language.

Tehran, 11 December 2006 (CHN Foreign Desk) -- Continuation of excavations by a team of archeologists in Rabat Tepe 2, northwest Iran, led into discovery of the second enameled brick inscription written in Assyrian cuneiform script. A few weeks ago, the team succeeded in discovering the first ( such inscription written in white glaze in the same area. Archeologists believe that studying the two inscriptions could shed light on the prehistoric civilizations of northwest Iran.
The newly discovered brick inscription is measured 33x34x8 centimeters in dimension.
“The discovery of this inscription will be very helpful in attaining greater understanding of the Mannai and Urartian city-states in the region and their relations to the Assyrian Government,” said team director Ali-Reza Heydari.
Second season of archeological excavations at Rabat Tepe started in late October this year with the aim of finding traces of invasion of Assyrian King, Sargon II who, according to an inscription found in the area, attacked this region sometime in the eighth century BC.
Archeologists at Rabat Tepe are also looking for historic and archeological evidence to prove the site was the capital of the Musasir state, a semi-independent buffer state bordering Mannai between Assyria and Urartu during the first millennium BC. Musasir is believed to have been a vassal state of Assyria, yet Urartu had some claim over it. Archeologists believe that the area under excavations was more likely a center for religious gatherings in the first millennium BC.
Recent archeological excavations in the vicinity of Rabat Tepe also revealed that its cultural domain spans over a 25 hectare area whereas in the past it had been assumed that its cultural influence does not reach beyond 14 hectares from this ancient mound.
Located near the town of Sardasht in Iran’s West Azarbaijan Province, Rabat Tepe holds traces of the Iron Age. Discovery of unique flagstones ( with dreadlock patterns arranged in the form of concentric circles, as well as bricks bearing bas-reliefs of naked winged goddesses, and two brick cuneiform inscriptions at Rabat Tepe are considered some of the most outstanding achievements by archeologists in the recent months.
Maryam Tabeshian