Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
This language was used in the inscriptions of the Achaemenid kings. Old Persian texts (including inscriptions, tablets and seals) have been found in Iran, Turkey and Egypt. It evolved into the Middle Persian language (Pahlavi) of Sassanid Iran, and eventually into modern Persian language.
Old Persian was written from left to right in a kind of Cuneiform script. Old Persian cuneiform contains 36 signs which represent consonants, vowels or sequences of single consonants plus vowels, a set of five numbers, one word divider, and eight ideograms.
While the shapes of some Old Persian letters may look similar to signs in Sumero-Akkadian Cuneiform script, only one of them, LA, is a borrowing from that script, and that because LA represents a sound not occurring in the Old Persian language and is used in foreign names only. Scholars today agree that the character inventory of Old Persian was newly-invented for the purpose of providing monumental inscriptions of the Achaemenid king, Darius I, by about 525 BC.
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