Talk:Behistun Inscription

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Former featured article Behistun Inscription is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
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Western scholars[edit]

"In 1598 the inscription came to the attention of Western Europe when it was seen by Robert Sherley, an Englishman on a diplomatic mission to Persia in the service of Austria."

I'd like to change the above (showing my disregard for passive voice), but I don't know what to change it to. "In 1598 the inscription came to the attention of Western Europe when Robert Sherley, an Englishman on a diplomatic mission to Persia in the service of Austria, saw it" sounds odd--incomplete somehow--did he write back about it? return with news of it? Sorry to quibble; it's just that the rest of it is so well-written & interesting that this sentence sticks out like a sore thumb (to me, anyway). --Koyaanis Qatsi

How about: "Western European scholars did not become aware of the inscription until 1598, when it was observed byRobert Sherley, an Englishman on an [[:Austria}Austrian|Austria}Austrian]] diplomatic mission to Persia." Just a go - it's a tough sentence. - MMGB

Well, I had to go with the passive voice because I'm really not sure myself. I could only find one source about Sherley ("It's an cuneiform inscription...and don't call me Sherley"), and it was distressingly vague. It wasn't Sherley himself who brought it to European attention, just someone with him, and I don't know how he (or she) got the word back to Europe. That makes the form you have (ending in "saw it") -- what I had at first too -- put the verb so far away from the action that it needs to watch it on TV. Devil and the deep blue sea....-- Paul Drye

Lol. Ok then. --Koyaanis Qatsi

How about: "It was not until 1958, when the Englishman Robert Sherley saw it during a diplomatic mission to Persia, that the inscription came to the attention of western scholars."

M. Northstar

Excellent - I have changed accordingly. -- ALoan (Talk) 02:22, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Did you change also 1598 into 1958 ??? It makes a lot of difference Trassiorf (talk) 14:46, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Image[edit]

Very nice, Paul, et al. This calls in the best kinda way for a picture - surely there's one in public domain! --MichaelTinkler


At least a couple of which I'm aware. Do we have a way to upload them? --Paul Drye

I've never tried to put up an image, but I think JHK emailed a family tree to Larry? I looked and didn't see any nice ones online, so I hope you've found a better one! --MichaelTinkler

Images for Wikipedia should be e-mailed to JasonR. --Zundark, 2001 Dec 11

Misspelling or sound drift?[edit]

The way the name of the legendary hero and Shirin's lover is spelled and pronounced in modern Persian is Farhad, with the "r" *before* the "h". Does your source spell the name differently, or is this a misspelling? (I know it must be hard to keep track of the spelling of a word in a foreign language.)

Great article otherwise, although your link to the CWR university doesn't seem to be going anywhere useful.

Mentioned by Tacitus?[edit]

The article claims that the inscription is mentioned by Tacitus, but no non-wiki source I can find mentions this. Can anyone cite me a reference? Thanks, --68.78.70.215 04:05, 6 Sep 2004 (UTC) (Iustinus)

Muke Tever pointed me to this entry on perseus, which mentions a theory equating Tacitus' Sambulus with Behistun. I'm not sure I buy that, but that is certainly what the article is refering to. -Iustinus

Spelling variations[edit]

I did some online checking (yes, I know, inherently culturally biased) and the most common spellings are Behistun (1880 hits), Bisitun (119), Bisutun (70), Bisotun (16), and Bistun (13). There were zero hits for "Bisistun inscription." I've adjusted the article to include the two most common spelling variations other than Behistun. SWAdair | Talk 08:01, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

If it's any help, "Bisotun" is what they use locally, including on all the signs around and leading to the town. As far as I can tell it's also the most accurate transliteration of the name from Farsi. Personally, if I wasn't so rusty on Wikipedia and could remember how to do it, I'd try renaming the entire article "Bisotun Inscription." Against this, locally they seem to describe the actual inscription as the "Darius Inscription" or "Darius Relief." But this may be because, as the article correctly says, there are also reliefs of Mithradates II and Gotarzes II on a different, lower part of the cliff at Bisotun, with an inscription in Greek on the latter. It's the whole area that is World Heritage listed, not just the most famous inscription. The famous one is simply higher, older and arguably much more important.Russell Brown (talk) 09:40, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Akkadian/Babylonian[edit]

Babylonian is the name given to the descendant of Akkadian which was used in this inscription; whether you consider it a separate language or a dialect of Akkadian is POV, but "Babylonian" is in any event correct. - Mustafaa 15:52, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Request for references[edit]

Hi, I am working to encourage implementation of the goals of the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy. Part of that is to make sure articles cite their sources. This is particularly important for featured articles, since they are a prominent part of Wikipedia. The Fact and Reference Check Project has more information. Thank you, and please leave me a message when you have added a few references to the article. - Taxman 20:00, Apr 21, 2005 (UTC)

The Lost Tribes[edit]

This material seems to have less to do with the inscription per se than with lost tribes theories, which have no historical consensus. It belongs in the Lost Tribes of Israel article. TheLateDentarthurdent 00:14, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

I've moved the material to the Lost Tribes article. TheLateDentarthurdent 00:21, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Finds and translations of finds like this inscription can frequently change the consensus among historians, unless the general theme amongst institutions is to hide something that jolts their own theories to harshly. Consensus doesn't necessarily equate fact. For example, the consensus portrayed to modern students of history is that the Roman Empire had no real foe in her prime. But the "fact" is that Rome got her ass kicked by Parthia on several occasions... while in her prime. galut5 05:16, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

I have nominated this article for GA review. Please see Wikipedia:Good article review#Behistun Inscription. My two biggest concerns are the written style of the article and the lack of inline citations. Nishkid64 (talk) 00:00, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

I have closed the good article review. The result of the discussion was to delist the article. The issues raised about point of view and sources may be easy to address with a little bit of citation. Once this is done the article can be renominated. Geometry guy 16:16, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Farhad and Shirin[edit]

The legend of Farhad and Shirin obviously deserves a mention in Wikipedia, but this does not seem to be the ideal place for it. I followed the link to Farhad, which led to a disambiguation page with no onward link to the Farhad in question. The page on Shirin mentions the existence of this legend, without telling the story.

I looks to me as though there ought to be a Farhad page containing the legend, or, if this story is the only mention Farhad gets in historical texts, the legend might be incorporated into Shirin's page. In any event, the blind link to Farhad needs tidying up. --King Hildebrand 10:43, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Darius' Beard[edit]

It says in the article, that Darius' beard was added later; but I had never heard of something like that & I can't find any article about "bisotun inscription" to back that claim. Can someone verify that it was indeed added later? I have put a "citatioin needed" sign there, fot the time being.Sbn1984 (talk) 19:06, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

"target practice"[edit]

It would be interesting to know which countries armed forces would willingly use something this important for target practice, anyone know? Please put it in the article. Thanks. ΤΕΡΡΑΣΙΔΙΩΣ(Ταλκ) 11:39, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

As I know , the British forces where in that region (look at this picture as an example ) .--Alborz Fallah (talk) 20:23, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Military destruction of ancient monuments has been quite common actually. The Great Sphinx's nose was blown off. The entire Bamiyan Buddhas site was dynamited. The Parthenon, I think, was bombed (one of those large ancient Greek buildings, anyway). – SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō  Contribs. 23:29, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Translation?[edit]

I may be going blind but I cannot seem to find the translation anywhere in this article. Could someone point it out, please? Jaqian (talk) 10:37, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Dispute[edit]

I have removed a dispute from the article itself, since disputes belong on the talk page.

The article had an unsourced assertion in it, that the inscription is "extremely inaccessible". This was followed by the following refutation, which was put inside a <ref> tag for some reason:

This assertion has been frequently made and the reason usually given was that Darius wanted to prevent anyone climbing up and defacing his monument. As shown in the photograph of the route up to the inscription, the cliff face beneath it is not flat and smooth, as one would expect with an artificially carved surface. In addition, as shown in the photograph of the ledge beneath the inscription, this is some three feet wide, yet it would surely have been the first thing to go if access was being made difficult. As for the "extreme inaccessibility", the inscription can be reached without climbing equipment and the route is safe and easy provided care is taken.

I have to side with the critic, though I am too lazy to dig through the history and find out who said what and attribute it here. – SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō  Contribs. 23:27, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

I missed its restoration. I tried to explain why I deleted it at User talk:KendallKDown but he doesn't understand/agree with our policy here. Dougweller (talk) 06:51, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Add Quote of inscription[edit]

From source: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Persia/Behistun.html

"Says Darius the king . . . if thou shalt not conceal this edict, but shalt reveal it to the people, then shall Ahuramazda be thy friend, there shall be to thee a large family, and thou shalt live long."

Thompson, R. Campbell. "The Rock of Behistun". Wonders of the Past. Edited by Sir J. A. Hammerton. Vol. II. New York: Wise and Co., 1937. (p. 760-767) Dr. Thompson (D.Litt., M.A., F.S.A.) investigated the Rock of Behistun on behalf of the British Museum

Cameron, George G. "Darius Carved History on Ageless Rock". The National Geographic Magazine. Vol. XCVIII, Num. 6, Dec. 1950. (Pages 825-844) George Cameron was the chairman of the department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan.

There is also mention (outside of this article and I will list the academic source based on geological archaeological research) of the Behistun inscription having something to do with the Rosetta stone which proves that the Garden of Eden (from biblical references) was located between the four rivers [the Tigris, Eurphrates (Iraq;Mesopotamia), Pison (Saudi Arabia), Gihon (Persian Gulf).

From professional documentary by scholars : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxY3in91wSE & http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/txt/ah/Persia/Behistun.html

"The story of decipherment began when travelers compared the curious wedge-shaped signs at Bisitun with those appearing on other, more accessible monuments in old Turkey and Persia. Sometimes they brought back copies or even samples of these "writings" to Europe, but no man there could read them. By inference, one of the languages with its system of writing was thought to be of Persian origin, for it was very common within Persia, particularly at Darius's former capital, Persepolis. Another was assumed to be Babylonian, for its script closely resembled the writing on monuments found in what is now the country of Iraq, in the "Garden of Eden"-the land of the Two Rivers, Tigris and Euphrates. The third was totally unknown. " —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ditc (talkcontribs) 07:09, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


Ditc (talk) 07:04, 19 January 2010 (UTC)ditc

— Elamite and Babylonian being Semitic languages.[edit]

There is an obvious error in the article - a claim that "— Elamite and Babylonian being Semitic languages". Elamite is considered a language isolate and is by no means Semitic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.219.162.44 (talk) 09:42, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Help needed: suggestions regarding the related article Behistun Palace[edit]

Hi! I can't do more than bring this situation to your attention in the hopes someone with more bandwidth will follow it through (see below). Thanks in advance! --Geekdiva (talk) 08:00, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

A stub or not a stub, to merge or not to merge [Copied from Talk:Behistun Palace.][edit]

First of all, it seems that because of the length of [the Behistun Palace] article, people keep removing a stub tag from it. However, if you read the article, you'll see why it is a stub: length of text does not equal encyclopedic-quality research, much less writing.

Also, while trying to figure out why an earlier version of [the Behistun Palace] article had the Infobox World Heritage Site removed, I found the Behistun Inscription article. As I understand it (and frankly I'm limited by illness so I might be wrong; I usually cannot offer more than suggestions while I browse and then move on), [the Behistun Palace] article is based on theories that have yet to be proven.

I suggest one of the following:

  1. Merge Behistun Palace article into Behistun Inscription as a section.
  2. Keep the separate article but break it down into sub-topics where research is needed. Move those to the Behistun Palace talk page in separate sections to encourage research and prevent wholesale reversions. Keep a summary on the front page along with a stub tag or two.

Argh! I had a third suggestion, but it vanished from my head. Anyway, sorry this is all I can do. I'm cross-posting this to the more active Behistun Inscription's talk page.

Thanks, --Geekdiva (talk) 08:00, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

WP:ERA[edit]

The current version is a mess, so just a note here that the page usage was established by the initial edits as AD/BC. Kindly maintain it consistently, without the haphazard ~Es.  — LlywelynII 21:28, 10 May 2013 (UTC)