Remote Villagers Speak in Sassanid Language After 2,000 Years

7/10/04
Originally at: http://www.payvand.com/news/04/jul/1058.html

Following the recognition of 903 Sassanid words in the language of Maymand residents, experts have concluded the language of these people has barely changed since 2,000 years ago, mainly because of the isolation of their helmet after the Arab invasion in the seventh century.

Experts working with the renovation project of the village have managed to recognize and categorize these words after conversing with the secluded people. “Some of these words are purely Persian and free of Arabic influences,” said Farhnaz Firozehchian, linguist in charge of the word recognition plan, citing such examples as “Fal” for “Dastmal” (handkerchief) and “Pa-Cheragh” for a special lantern burning animal fat.

Firozehchian intends to compile a report and submit it to the Iranian Language Association by September and then continue her pet project with some academic linguists.

Maymand is a village in Kerman Province, south of Iran and its inhabitants live in cave-like houses dug into mountains.

The Sassanids (224-642 A.D.) established an empire roughly within the frontiers achieved by the Achaemenids, with the capital at Ctesiphon. They consciously sought to resuscitate Iranian traditions and to obliterate Greek cultural influence. Their rule was characterized by considerable centralization, ambitious urban planning, agricultural development, and technological improvements.

Sassanid rule and the system of social stratification were reinforced by Zoroastrianism, which became the state religion. The Zoroastrian priesthood became immensely powerful. The later Sassanids were weakened by economic decline, heavy taxation, religious unrest, rigid social stratification, the increasing power of the provincial landholders, and a rapid turnover of rulers. These factors facilitated the Arab invasion.