Study on a Decree of Amīr Čoban of 726 AH/1326 CE
Based on the analysis of a damaged document from the Ilkhanid period, this paper elucidates several diplomatic points and poses questions about arranging and issuing documents of the Ilkhanid chancellery. This scroll-shaped document of 726 AH/1326 CE is considered the oldest document in the National Library and Archives of the Islamic Republic of Iran (SAMI), and a roll from the beginning section is lost. The script style is šikasta-ta'līq (broken ta'līq) popularly practiced in the period. On
... in the period. On the recto of the document, four seals are stamped: an āl-tamġā seal (vermilion seal) in Arabic script, another āl-tamġā in 'Phags-pa and Arabic scripts, a qarā-tamġā seal (black seal) in Arabic script, and another black seal in Arabic script. On the verso are six black seals, which are engraved in Uigur and Arabic scripts. These seals are the oldest examples of personal seals and doubtless show various practices of the Ilkhanid chancellery. Through the examination of this document, it has become clear how to stamp the seal on official documents. The practice of āl-tamġā seal derives from the Mongols, the Turks, and China. The āl-tamġā seal was stamped on the predefined place where the date and place of issue was written and on each joint line of two sheets of paper. This decree was issued in the place named Kūhak. Judging from other documents, the issuer is Čoban, the leading amīr of the Ilkhan Abū Sa'īd. The decree confirmed a certain person's ownership of a village and that the village in question was not included in the īnǧū (crown property). This paper attempts to reconstruct the original form of the document. Also, the text of another comparable document is presented in the appendix.