Adaptation of Local Calendars to Achaemenid Bureaucratic System
Calendars are one of the main bases of the administrative affairs of anciant archives in all administrative structures. What distinguishes the Achaemenid imperial administrative structure from other ancient states is the variety of archives in this period in terms of script, language and calendar. At the center of the kingdom, the Old Persian and Elamite calendars were used. In the Mesopotamia and Jewish islands on the Nile, Babylonian Calendar and in Egypt, Egyptian calendar was used. Despite the fact that in correspondence between different archives a standard calendar was not used, the main question of the present research is that, how did the Achaemenids coordinate these calendars? In order to answer this question, first the calendars in this period based on the royal inscriptions and Persepolis archives along with Mesopotama and Aramaic documents from Egypt and Bacteria are introduced, and then the ways in which these calendars are adapted in administrative documents have been investigated. The hypothesis of this study is that the Achaemenids tried to adapt different calendars without requiring different parts of the kingdom to use the same calendar. Since the Old Persian, Elamite and Babylon calendars had the same structures –they were lunisolar, in which the lunar months and the solar year were calculated– in order to begin the year at the spring equinox, it was necessary to add intercalary months to the calendar during the year. In Mesopotamia and Elam, the addition of the intercalary month was influenced by political factors. However, in this study, it is suggested that the Achaemenids coordinated the local calendars in their administrative system by mathematical and astronomical calculations and by the addition of the intercalary. The best evidence for this claim is the Egyptian administrative documents, in which, in coordination with the Imperial bureaucracy and along with the traditional solar calendar, the lunisolar dating is also used.
نشریه پژوهش های باستان شناسی ایران, Volume:9 Issue:20, 2019
95 - 114
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