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Featured Article: Behistun Inscription

Modern day picture of the inscription
The Behistun Inscription (also Bisitun or Bisutun, بیستون in modern Persian; in Old Persian is Bagastana the meaning is "the god's place or land") is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: The document most crucial in the deciphering of a previously lost script. It is located in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, and contains three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian.

Successive work by Georg Friedrich Grotefend, Henry Rawlinson, and others resulted in translation of the text by the mid-nineteenth century. Their efforts enabled many other cuneiform texts, preserved but undeciphered for centuries, to be translated, revealing much about the most ancient civilizations of human history. This is a significant step in the advancement of human knowledge and the understanding of ourselves and our past, and serves as an essential foundation for a better future.

Popular Article: Inner transition metal

Actinide phases.gif
The inner transition metals are two series of elements known as the lanthanides and actinides. They are usually shown below all the other elements in the standard view of the periodic table, but they really belong to periods 6 and 7. The lanthanide series consists of the 14 elements, cerium through lutetium (atomic numbers 58–71) immediately following lanthanum. Likewise, the actinide series consists of the 14 elements, thorium through lawrencium (atomic numbers 90–103), immediately following actinium. These elements were among the last to be discovered and placed in the periodic table. Many of the actinides do not occur naturally but were synthesized through nuclear reactions.

Chemically, the elements within each series (especially the lanthanides) are very similar to one another.

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