Author(s): Lesley Adkins
Exploration, decipherment and heroism in the name of learning, from the author of The Keys of Egypt.
At Behistun, in the Zagros mountains of what is now western Iran, rises a vertical cliff face covered with a huge cuneiform inscription set up in 520 BC to record the exploits of the Persian king Darius the Great. In 1835, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson began the perilous task of recording this inscription, sometimes from a ladder propped up on a narrow ledge, sometimes lowered down the cliff on a rope, but mainly clinging precariously to the rock face itself. Every minute he was in danger of a fatal fall