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Ancient Decree for Building Aqueducts in Persian Gulf Islands

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mehdi Nouralishahi 

Experts read historical inscription of Kharg Island:

The first translation of an ancient inscription found on Kharg Island is proof to high managerial skills of ancient Iranians who tried to tackle water shortage in Persian Gulf islands.

The cuneiform inscription reads, “This is an order for drilling a well in Persian Gulf!”

Experts maintain that since potable water is of high importance in Kharg Island, the decree is an order to drill well and build underground water storage facilities or an aqueduct on the island.

Zatollah Nikzad, an expert of architecture and head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Meibod has noted that the inscription documents that Iranians have used water structures since a long time ago.

He added that there are water structures called “Berkeh” on Iranian islands of the Persian Gulf which are special to those islands.

The expert stated that aqueducts in Persian Gulf islands work according to rules that govern such structures in other places.

Rasoul Bashash, faculty member of Inscriptions Linguistics Research Institute, noted that the Achaemenid inscription found on Kharg Island reads, “This land was arid and dry. I brought happiness and comfort to it.”

The researcher added that the inscription belongs to late Achaemenid period and has been carved out on a coral rock measuring 85 cm by 116 cm in five lines. “The text is divided in two parts: one with three lines and another one with two lines, which are carved out in cuneiform,” he said.

Experts maintain that the inscription proves that Kharg has always been an Iranian island and indicates specialty of ancient Iranians to solve the problem of water shortage on Persian Gulf islands.

Structures built to transfer water in ancient Iran are among the most important characteristics of the Iranian civilization while major points about technology used to build them still remain unknown.

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