02 June 2010
By Jeff Baron
Washington — The fate of clay tablets that recorded details of everyday government transactions in the Persian Empire 2,500 years ago might depend on maneuverings in the government of the modern United States.
The tablets — more than 10,000 of them from a long-buried Persian government archive at Persepolis — are at the center of a lobbying effort in the U.S. Congress. They were discovered in 1933 and have been in the United States since 1936, on loan from Iran for study. Scholars, research institutions and Iranian-American groups are trying to protect them from being seized and auctioned off for the benefit of people who have legal claims against the current Iranian government over acts of terrorism...
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