« The Bîsotûn Inscription and the Persians: The Place of Gods, Romance, and ‘Historicity’ ». The Journal of Sophia Asian Studies, 25, 2007, pp. 1-48. [in Japanese]
This impressive article traces the historical evolution of images and representations of the Bisutun site, particularly its most important monument, the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription ordered by Darius the Great. According to the author, the monument’s origin and meaning became lost in oblivion by the beginning of Islamic period and geographers of early Islamic period often came to confuse it with the more picturesque Sasanian monument of Ṭāq-i Bustān, located 20 km. west. It is Niẓāmī Ganjavī that added a new image to the Bisotun site, by telling a tragic story of Farhād, love-rival of Khusraw, in his chef d’œuvre Khusraw va Shīrīn. Since then, the site became known as a stage for romance. It is only in the middle of the 19th century that the inscription of Darius I was deciphered by Sir Henry Rawlinson and the site began to be perceived as one of the great monuments of ancient Iran. The discovery had a considerable repercussion particularly for the Qajar court and caused a gradual change in the Persian consciousness on their ancient history. This marked also the beginning of a Western-styled scientific historiography in Iran.