Remembrance of cultural roots by Rebuilding Achaemenid Inscriptions

Remembrance of cultural roots by Rebuilding Achaemenid Inscriptions

06 October, 2018 | Share Article


An artist believes that the exhibition “Rewriting and documenting Persian Ancient Achaemenid Inscriptions” is an honour for Iranian language and culture, which could remind young people of our cultural roots in the onset of negative propaganda.


According to Shabestan News Agency, these days, when negative America propaganda against Iran and the turbulent market has become a concern for Iranians, perhaps the visit of the exhibition “Rewriting and documenting the ancient Achaemenid Persian inscriptions” in the CAMA Gallery boosts our mood. An exhibition that brings us back to our millennia of history and reminds us that we are still one of the most living cultures and civilisations of the world. Holding this exhibition made this opportunity to discuss with artist Nader Khadiri who has 15 years of research work in this field. 

The title of this exhibition is “Rewriting and documenting the ancient Persian inscription of the Achaemenid”; what was your aim in rewriting the works of Achaemenid inscriptions? 

The purpose of this exhibition was documentary; these inscriptions are mostly in ancient Persian language, and because of great importance for linguists, archaeologists and researchers, in fact, the entry point of all scholars to the Achaemenid period begins with these inscriptions. This led us to find an unknown period of our history that this historic period had remained unknown to people; after deciphering these inscriptions, a great transformation began in human history. What principles, thoughts and laws people lived by on this land. After deciphering these tablets by archaeologists and linguists people became aware of this historical period. In fact, these inscriptions opened a new chapter in human history after centuries. Over the past 200 years, the inscriptions have been investigated and decoded, but over the past 100 years, these inscriptions have been completely decoded. Herzfeld was the first archaeologist who came to Persepolis and began to sculpt on these tablets. Many American, German and Italian explorers also reviewed these tablets. The inscriptions were damaged due to being exposed to environmental degradation and could not be read and only a limited number of them were readable; my goal was to present these inscriptions as a historical document. The important point in this inscription for me was that the present language of ours has connections to its ancient origins and mentions this civilization as one of the most living civilizations in the world; many of the terms in the Achaemenid inscriptions have not yet changed and are used, that after thousands of years we live with our roots and we should be able to introduce this to the present generation.

How much do you think these tablets can remind us of our cultural roots and protect our culture in the current circumstances?

The display of these inscriptions protects our culture from damages and we can say that our civilization and language are still alive. Historical documentation must be displayed in exhibitions rather than being kept in museums and universities or treasures in order to be seen by their people and even in the world, as a living culture and civilization, prevent many negative propagandas against Iran. Even when people know that our culture is still alive, and our language is still the living language of the world, and many of foreign terms have origins in the same language, prevents entry of the strange terms that are not rooted. The exhibition has been designed to protect the language and culture of Iran and its purpose is to present this culture to the younger generation that today faces the onslaught of foreign information and culture, we should be able to introduce ourselves more to them and, in fact, act as a protector for the younger generation.

How many years of research is this exhibition?

The study of “Rewriting and documenting the ancient Achaemenid Persian inscriptions” began in the year 2003 and since the year 2005 the work of making inscriptions with materials belonging to different historical periods of Iran began, these works inspired by a kind of Iranian mortar that has high flexibility and resistance and carvings technique.

How many works are displayed in the exhibition and what are the features of these works?

Six inscriptions are shown for the first time, two of which are related to the first series of my work, and four of the sixteen series; these works are based on my own duplication and the same observation.

Is this collection of works available for sale?

These works are for sale because the research project is costly, and we are a team that are not supported by any set, we should be able to sell these works so that we will not have difficulties for the next project.

What are the dimensions of and the shape of these works?

The size of the inscriptions varies from 70 to 90 cm, from the smallest to the largest, which is 2 x 2 meters; all the inscriptions have a special code, according to which codes are known in the world, a series of inscription, their dimensions are close to the main dimensions, some smaller and some larger. What is important for me in these works is that the number of letters per line is in accordance with the original inscription, and the original version of which all the writings are written in Professor Rich Schmidt’s vision.