Deciphering the Inscription on the Behistun Rock

Deciphering the inscription. Rawlinson found that it was actually a threefold inscription, like the Rosetta Stone. The one language was old Persian, the second was Median, and the third, Babylonian. Rawlinson began a long and earnest attempt in solve the riddle of the unknown Babylonian language. His knowledge of modern Persian was a great help to him in coming to understand the old Persian. Then he worked on the Median language, and finally deciphered the Babylonian. He discovered that the inscription and relief were ordered done by King Darius I of Persia around 515 B.C. The bas-relief pictured the king leading his army in triumph over a revolt which he put down, and the writing tells the story of his success. The results of Rawlinson`s discovery were printed in Europe in 1847. Ten years later authorities of the British Museum gave copies of a cuneiform inscription to four scholars, including Rawlinson, for them to read. The translation work done by all four agreed so substantially that all doubt was removed that the old Babylonian language had been certainly unlocked.

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