Persepolis Tablets

On loan to University of Chicago

Professor Matthew Stolper of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago talks about pay tablets excavated from Persepolis between 1931 and 1939, currently on loan from the government of Iran to University of Chicago. Their team is using modern technology to digitally record thousands of tablets from the Persian Empire. (All the items on loan at the University of Chicago have been the subject of a lawsuit and a verdict which could potentially auction these items to pay damages to survivors of a terrorist attack in Israel.)


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To Anonymous Jew

by پیام on

Because current Iranian government is a represantor of Arabs and thus does not represent Iranians and hence does not care for any tablets that stablishes the great history of Iran. 


Here's an idea

by Anonymous Jew (not verified) on

Why doesn't the government of Iran send a representative to the auction to buy the tablets and bring them back to Iran?


Anonimosity, that's a stupid argument

by Anonymous8 (not verified) on

There are far too many people in the world who are determined to live their lives in martyrdom and who continually demand apologies and compensation from all manner of real and/or perceived victimizers.

Yes, like the people who want to auction off the tablets. why do you think thousands of Iranian lives are not worth one or two Israelis dead in suicide bombings?


Well, my comment was meant to be ironic.

by پیام on

My claim is as silly as the jewish claim, but I guess that Anonymousity just missed the point.



by Kurush (not verified) on

I have yet to see a comprehensive set of policies guiding Iran's recapturing what has been stolen from our national heritage. Here are some suggestions:

First: the worst case scenario, the court orders the tablet be turned over to its jurisdiction. Iran must make its intention clear beforehand that Iran has every right to seek the return of its national treasures by all means necssary. This vague wording would put a 'curse' on these tablets by virtue of the fact that the buyers would not buy anything that has a 'lien' on it. Iran can hire lawyers to pursue & accost the individuals who buy these items, especially the auction houses. Individuals who might be contemplating the possession of these precious items will be faced with very expensive and exhaustive lawsuits which will nullify any remunerative value these precious objects might bring. The curse will go whereever the objects go. Iran should set up necessary bureaucratic apparatus which would sustain this curse, lawyers, detectives, clerks, researchers, spokepersons, etc.
Second, the comprehensive set of policies must target the Louvre Museum for the return of the Elamite antiquities stolen by Dieulafoy and Morgan from 1882 thru 1927 when La Delegation Scientifique ( the French governemnt's instrument which made the theft possible) was terminated. The negitiations conudcted to facilitae the pilfering of these items was done during the last year of the enfeebled Naserdinshah beset by internal riots & anti-europeans sentiments and finalized by the corrupt Mozafardinshah on his trip to France.
Third. the return of these objects would be preconditions on just about any talk with the French and the Americans.
Iran has the moral upperhand and must conduct this relentlessly.

Ari Siletz

2006 commentary

by Ari Siletz on

Here is an article with some details about one plaintiff  and a few comments about the tablet affair. It argues that, "The Achaemenid artifacts about to be auctioned off are nothing to Islam and everything to Judaism."


Playing the martyr again?

by Anonymousity (not verified) on

You ask "who is going to compensate Iranians for their suffering by USA and Europe during Iran-Iraq war?", etc., etc.

There are far too many people in the world who are determined to live their lives in martyrdom and who continually demand apologies and compensation from all manner of real and/or perceived victimizers.

Why stop with Israel/Palestine or Iran/Iraq?

Why don't you also ask Germany to compensate Jews (oh, no... how silly of me to imagine that you might think that Jews have been oppressed as well as having been oppressors!!).

Why don't you also ask Iran to compensate Greece and India and others for the invasions and cultural genocide praticed by its two thousand years of imperialism?

Or for an even more contemporary example, why don't you ask Iran to apologize and compensate the female half of its population that it oppresses on a daily basis?

Why don't you stop being a martyr and start participating in the present? Enjoy your life, because it's really short, and you can spend the rest of eternity in heaven or hell worrying about how you suffered at the hands of those who were bigger and stronger than you were.


Great job by prof. Matthew Stolpe,

by پیام on

but regarding the lawsuit, who is going to compensate Iranians for their suffering by USA and Europe during Iran-Iraq war? And who is going to compensate Iranians for the unjustice done to them on previous occations by USA ( remember the fifties coup) and all through history by Russians and English? And who is going to compensate the Palestinians for the millions and millions of them being killed by the terrorist state of Israel all through past 60 years?

In order to show the world other side of jews, these jews should not comply with the prejudice of jews being only after financial compensation for whatever is done to them in the past. Althought this lawsuit once again reveals the true face of zionist backers of state of Israel. For once they should try not to make enemies more than necessary. By laying a claim on Iranian historical artefacts, they will enrage ALL Iranians leading to more hatred and animosity toward jews and Israel which previously would have not exist.

Ari Siletz

Good work

by Ari Siletz on

I am grateful for the effort taken to image these artifacts. Needless to say, this does not lessen the need for keeping the originals undispersed. Images preserve only part of the information in these tablets. Experience shows that as newer technologies come along ancient artifacts reveal surprising new information. This is why modern archeologists leave part of any recently discovered site unexcavated, leaving it intact for as yet uninvented technologies.  


Thank You.

by Amir Khosrow Sheibany (not verified) on

I have met Professor Matthew Stolper and others at University of Chicago. They are doing more for the preservation of Iranian History and culture that 99.9% of Iranian's themselves.

Alas they are a bit smitten about the Khatami and reformist group in Iran, and not able to see though them and beyond them.