US to return another batch of Achaemenid tablets to Iran

TEHRAN — The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago is preparing to return another batch of Achaemenid tablets to the Iranian government after some 87 years on loan.

“Soon we will witness the return of another part of the Achaemenid tablets by the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago…,” the director general of museums and historical and cultural properties, Morteza Adibzadeh, said on Saturday.

“Good news will soon be announced in this regard,” the official said.

“They go through the necessary paperwork and correspondence, and the US sanctions have no effect on this case,” Adibzadeh said in response to a question about the possible effects of US sanctions on the legal process.

In September 2019, a batch of clay tablets, consisting of 1,783 pieces, was sent home after 84 years. They are among thousands of clay tablets and related fragments, which have been preserved at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.

In February 2018, after years of ups and downs, the fate of these ancient Persian artifacts was left in the hands of the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Iran.

Archaeologists affiliated with the University of Chicago discovered the tablets in the 1930s during excavations in Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire. However, the institute has resumed work in collaboration with Iranian colleagues, and the return of the tablets is part of an expansion of contacts between scholars from the two countries, said Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute of the Institute. University of Chicago.

The tablets reveal scenes from the economic, social and religious history of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC) and the greater region of the Near East in the 5th century BC.

Darius I, named after Darius the Great, was King of Persia from 522 BC. AD to 486 BC. AD, one of the greatest rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty, who distinguished himself by his administrative genius and his great construction projects. Darius tried several times to conquer Greece; his fleet was destroyed by a storm in 492, and the Athenians defeated his army at Marathon in 490.

Achaemenid [Persian] Empire was the largest and most enduring empire of its time. The empire stretched from Ethiopia, through Egypt, Greece, Anatolia (modern Turkey), Central Asia and India.


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