Skip to main content

Persia (Iran) - Ganj Nameh

Ganj Nameh, which in Persian means “Treasure epistle”, is an ancient inscription, 5 km south-west of Hamadan, on the side of Alvand Mountain in modern-day Iran. Cyril Sladden describes seeing this historic site in a letter to his father of 18th August 1918.

The inscriptions were carved in granite in two sections. The one on the left was ordered by Darius the Great (521-485 BC) and the one on the right by Xerxes the Great (485-465 BC). Both sections were carved in three ancient languages:  Old Persian, Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Elamite. The inscriptions start with praise of the Zoroastrian God (Ahura Mazda) and describe the lineage and deeds of the mentioned kings.

Later generations who could not read the Cuneiform alphabets of the ancient Persian assumed that they contained the guide to an uncovered treasure; hence they called it Ganjnameh.

Letters mentioning this place: