By Michael Rice

The Persian Gulf used to be the positioning for the various world's first nice towns and the region's archaeology continues to be mostly unexplored. well known Egyptologist Michael Rice has compiled the 1st up to date paintings encompassing findings from fresh experiences of the realm. He exhibits that the Gulf has in reality been a tremendous channel of trade for millennia, a convention which keeps to the current. Rice additionally means that archaeological facts from the Gulf unearths how cultural cross-pollination happened among buying and selling societies.

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After the splendid centuries of the Arab empires, when the thirst for trade drove Arab argosies across the world from the Gulf to China, the depredations of the Mongols, the rise of the Ottoman Empire, internal dissension and foreign invasion induced a strange lassitude in the lands of the Middle and Near East. Though occasional travellers penetrated Arabia and returned to tell curious tales of a remote people whose ways were markedly different from those of the western world, which was growing more and more confident of its role in the management of nations, the peninsula was allowed to slumber undisturbed.

He writes of the inscription: Here again is a puzzle to any but an adept. Some of the characters are evidently ordinary cuneiform, whether of Babylonian, Assyrian, or Achaemenian, the type seems much the same but some of the characters interspersed are hieroglyphic, as well as the tree or palm bough itself probably, that stands on the left of the inscription, a fact that might point to the stone having been engraved at a time when emblematic writing was being converted into alphabetical. This again is mere surmise.

It is intriguing, by the way, that Durand should be speculating about the possibility of a Phoenician influence on Greece in early times, a reversal of the view which was gaining strength in his day, that Greece owed nothing either to Semitic (Phoenician) influences or to others which might have come from Africa (Egypt). The stone may therefore well belong to this period of Persian rule, or again it may simply have found its way down from Assyria. The latter being the most likely, for the cuneiform seems to me to differ from the Achaemenian that I have seen, and the more so that no signs are used under that form of writing.

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