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Gian Pietro Basello

Gian Pietro Basello. “Administrative Topography in Comparison: Overlapping Jurisdiction Between the Susa Acropole Tablets and the Persepolis Fortification Tablets”

Compte-rendu réalisé par Yasmina Wicks
Référence(s) :

Gian Pietro Basello. “Administrative Topography in Comparison: Overlapping Jurisdiction Between the Susa Acropole Tablets and the Persepolis Fortification Tablets” in Jan Tavernier, Elynn Gorris, Kathleen Abraham, Vanessa Boschloos (eds.). Topography and Toponymy in the Ancient Near East Perspectives and Prospects. Louvain-la-Neuve: Université Catholique de Louvain, Peeters, 2018, p. 217-265.

Texte intégral

1As the title succinctly states, this article compares the jurisdiction of two important corpuses of administrative tablets from Susa and Persepolis dating perhaps only some decades apart. The first belongs to the late Neo-Elamite palace administration at Susa and dates between around 590-555 BCE. It is composed of 299 tablets (MDP 9, nos. 1-298, MDP 11, no. 309), conveniently abbreviated in this article for the first time as SAT, all except one of which were excavated together in the Acropole mound at Susa. The second, the Persepolis Fortification archive (PFT) belongs to the early Persian palace administration at Persepolis and dates to Darius I’s regnal years 13-28; i.e., 509-493 BCE. The number of tablets considered at least partially legible and meaningful is around 6,000–7,000, and of these about 2,400 have been published (at the time of writing of the article).

2When judged against PFT, a number of factors weigh heavily against comprehension of SAT: poor recording of its depositional context, a far lesser knowledge of Neo-Elamite than Achaemenid Elamite language, a lack of precise dates for the tablets and their possible episodic nature (whereas PFT shows a continuous engagement through the years), and the far smaller number of tablets. Nevertheless, after gathering together every scrap of evidence for the find contexts of both archives, and proving them not altogether dissimilar, the author identifies a wide area common to both corpuses within the intermontane plains of Fahliyan, Behbehan, and Ramhormoz between Susa and Persepolis through a comparison of administrative textuality and administrative topography. The findings highlight the pivotal importance of these areas in the development of the Elamite and Achaemenid cultures and political systems.

3The significance of SAT and PFA, which attest to the flow of products and people along complex networks, extends far beyond the definition of the administrative structures to which they respectively belonged, and the continuities and differences from one to the next. They have crucial implications for the archaeology of the late Neo-Elamite and early Persian periods across southwest Iran and, rightly, the article implores epigraphists and archaeologists to bridge their disciplinary divide and work together to exploit the evidence to its greatest potential.

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Référence électronique

Yasmina Wicks. Gian Pietro Basello, « Gian Pietro Basello. “Administrative Topography in Comparison: Overlapping Jurisdiction Between the Susa Acropole Tablets and the Persepolis Fortification Tablets” », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 40-41 | 2019, document 4, mis en ligne le 30 décembre 2019, consulté le 26 septembre 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/abstractairanica/52183 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/abstractairanica.52183

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