Daily Archives: January 13, 2010

Pieces of Cyrus cylinder found in British Museum

A report in PressTV, which appears to be an Iranian source, says:

Iranian inscription expert Abdolmajid Arfaei says the newly-found pieces of the Cyrus cylinder had been housed in the British Museum.

“The pieces have most probably been housed in the museum and only recently recognized as parts of the Cyrus cylinder,” Arfaei told ISNA.

The British Museum recently announced that some new parts of the cylinder’s broken pieces have been found, which might be a clue to some other documents sent by Cyrus the Great to other regions.

“If there are any new pieces, then they can provide more information about the contents of the cylinder,” Arfaei said.

When asked about the theory of Cyrus making 10 cylinders and sending to different territories, Arfaei said, “If there existed more than one cylinder, at least one of them should have been found by now.”

Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) Hamid Baqaei announced on Saturday that the British Museum had invited an Iranian team to collaborate on studying the newly-found pieces.

The Cyrus the Great cylinder is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus II, king of Persia (559-530 BC) and is considered the world’s first charter of human rights.

The ancient cylinder was scheduled to be given to Iran on loan in September 2009; however, the British Museum backed out of the agreement, citing Iran’s post-election unrest.

Tehran had earlier said that it would cease cooperation with the British Museum until the cylinder is loaned to the National Museum of Iran.

Iran has assured the British side about the safety of the priceless artifact.

The Cyrus Cylinder in the British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Cyrus Cylinder in the British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Cyrus was the Persian King who conquered Babylon and later allowed captives, such as the Jews, to return to their home and rebuild their temple.

In the first year of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia, in fulfillment of the promise he delivered through Jeremiah, the LORD moved King Cyrus of Persia to issue a written decree throughout his kingdom. It read: “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: ‘The LORD God of the heavens has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build for him a temple in Jerusalem in Judah. May the LORD your God energize you who belong to his people, so you may be able to go back there!” (2 Chronicles 36:22-23┬áNET’ cf. Ezra 1:1-2)

HT: Dr. Claude Mariottini