Efforts are underway to protect one of the largest inscriptions in the world

TEHRAN–A protection and preservation project has started on the Kartir inscription, which is considered one of the largest ancient inscriptions in the world.

Located in Sarmashhad, Kazerun County, Southern Fars Province, the inscription is one of four inscriptions carved by the Kartir, the great and influential Sasanian priest.

A project is being implemented to prevent natural factors from damaging the inscription, Kazerun tourism chief Mohammad Javad Jokari said on Saturday.

Thanks to the efforts of the locals, the inscription, which bears the Pahlavi script, is in favorable condition, and nothing has been written or damaged on it in recent years, and everything dates from the past decades, added the responsible.

Kartir is the only non-king person who has been granted the right to have an inscription. His other inscriptions are at Naqsh-e Rajab near UNESCO-designated Persepolis, at Naqsh-e Rostam, a royal rock-hewn necropolis, and at the “Cube of Zoroaster”, a famous ancient quadrangular structure, all in the province of Fars.

The Kartir inscriptions feature Kartir and describe his rise in detail. He wants the reader to follow the path of Ahura Mazda like him and briefly enumerate his deeds, such as building fire temples and ceding property to other Mobads. He then lists his titles at the Sasanian court.

The ancient region, known as Pars (Fars) or Persis, was the heart of the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus the Great and had its capital at Pasargadae. Darius I the Great moved the capital to Persepolis in the late 6th or early 5th century BC. Alexander the Great defeated the Achaemenid army at Arbela in 331 and burned Persepolis apparently in revenge against the Persians, as it appears the Persian king Xerxes had burned the Greek city of Athens around 150 years earlier.

Persis became part of the Seleucid Kingdom in 312 after Alexander’s death. The Parthian Empire (247 BC-224 CE) of the Arsacids (corresponding roughly to modern Khorasan in Iran) replaced Seleucid rule in Persis during 170-138 BC. The Sasanian Empire (224 CE-651) had its capital at Istkhr. It was only in the 18th century, under the Zand dynasty (1750-1779) of southern Iran, that Fars again became the heart of an empire, with Shiraz as its capital.

UBU/AM

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