Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Persepolis From the Air

Persepolis From the Air is a film featured in the Oriental Institute's special exhibit Persepolis: Images of an Empire (October 13, 2015–September 11, 2016), produced by the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL) at the Oriental Institute. 



Monday, September 28, 2015

National Endowment for the Humanities support for the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project

National Endowment for the Humanities support for the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project



University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)
Matthew Stolper (Project Director, 07/24/2012 - present)
PW-51344-13
The Persepolis Fortification Archive Project
Cataloging and digitizing ca. 2,000 administrative documents dating around 500 B.C. from Persepolis, 
the chief imperial residence of the Achaemenid kings in the homeland of the ancient Persian Empire.
Since 2006, the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project has conducted an emergency program to record 
tens of thousands of clay tablets and fragments with texts in several languages and with the impressions 
of thousands of seals, a unique archive from the heart of the Achaemenid Persian empire at its zenith, 
about 500 BC. Access to these tablets in danger because of a lawsuit against the government of Iran; 
the digital images, catalogs, text editions, and drawings that the Project compiles and distributes 
online will preserve the archive's contents for scholars and the public in perpetuity.
Project fields: Ancient Languages
Program: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Division: Preservation and Access
Total amounts$280,000 (approved); $280,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2013 – 4/30/2016

University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)
Matthew Stolper (Project Director, 07/19/2010 - present)
PW-50767-11
Persepolis Fortification Archive
Cataloging and digitization of administrative documents from Persepolis, the chief imperial 
residence of the Achaemenid kings in the homeland of the ancient Persian Empire.
This proposal seeks funding to support key personnel of the Persepolis Fortification Archive 

Project, an emergency program conducted since 2006 to record the texts and seal impressions 
on tens of thousands of clay tablets, a unique but imperiled archive from the heart of the 
Persian Empire at its height, C. 500 B.C.
Project fields: Ancient Languages
Program: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Division: Preservation and Access
Total amounts$300,000 (approved); $300,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 5/1/2011 – 4/30/2013

University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)
Matthew Stolper (Project Director, 07/19/2007 - present)
PW-50118-08
Persepolis Fortification Archive
Cataloging and digitizing administrative documents dating from 500 B.C. from Persepolis, t
he chief imperial residence of the Achaemenid kings in the homeland of the ancient Persian Empire.
In 1933, archaeologists from the Oriental Institute discovered tens of thousands of clay 

tablets and fragments at Persepolis, the palace complex of the Achaemenid Persian kings 
in Iran. They proved to be records of a regional administration from the imperial palaces 
in the years around 500 BC. The Persepolis Fortification Archive is a unique source for t
he languages, art, history, society, and institutions of ancient Iran and is in danger of being 
lost due to recent political and legal disputes. This project is conducting an accelerated program 
of recording the Archive, both texts and seal impressions. The Project uses several forms 
of electronic imaging, and co-ordinates the several kinds of information to be recorded 
with a suite of on-line tools for managing and presenting archaeological and textual data i
a common environment. The results are to be distributed both in electronic form, on a 
continuous basis, via both the web, and in conventional printed form.
Project fields: Ancient Languages
Program: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Division: Preservation and Access
Total amounts$350,000 (approved); $350,000 (awarded)
Grant period: 7/1/2008 – 6/30/2011

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Exhibition: Persepolis: Images of an Empire

Persepolis: Images of an Empire
Members Opening October 11th, 2015
Public Opening October 13th, 2015
From 1931 through 1939 Ernst Herzfeld and Erich Schmidt directed the Oriental Institute’s Persian Expedition in Iran. During their exploration, excavation, and restoration of this ancient site of the Achaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 BC), Herzfeld and Schmidt had photographers Hans-Wichart von Busse and Boris Dubensky document the architectural wonders and landscape of Persepolis. This rich collection of photographs is now housed in the Museum Archives of the Oriental Institute. The selection of photographs featured in Persepolis: Images of an Empire capture the quintessential elements of Achaemenid Persian architectural style: forests of columns, monumental audience halls, elaborate staircases, and stone relief carvings of people from all corners of the empire. This court style expresses the Achaemenid imperial ideology of harmonious order, power, and unity. The photographs on display also demonstrate the contrast between the imperial terrace with its imposing architecture and the surrounding barren landscape. This duality reinforced the magnitude and grandeur of Persepolis. 
While in Iran, Schmidt conducted two seasons of aerial survey explorations (1935–1937), a project the scale of which had never been done before. From his plane, gifted to him by his wife, and named Friend of Iran, Schmidt and his assistant Dubensky took aerial photographs of excavations already in progress, of sites under consideration for archaeological work, and of areas of Iran yet to be explored. The aerial photographs allow archaeologists to see ancient architectural plans and road networks, and to understand the relationship between ancient settlements and their surrounding environment. A digital video on display in the gallery created by the Oriental Institute’s Center for Middle Eastern Landscapes (CAMEL) allows you to explore the architecture of the site and to observe some of the differences between the Persepolis of today and that of Schmidt’s era. 
A selection of photographs from the Persepolis Expedition are included in an Oriental Institute text/mircrofiche publication entitled Persepolis and Ancient Iran: Catalog of Expedition Photographs, 1976. View the online version of the publication 
This exhibit is curated by Kiersten Neumann, PhD, Curatorial Assistant at the Oriental Institute Museum. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Support for the Completion of the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project

http://roshan-institute.org/clientimages/39783/Roshan-Banner-V10.gif
Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Matthew Stolper (John A. Wilson Professor Emeritus of Oriental Studies, the Oriental Institute at The University of Chicago) has been awarded a two-year Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies, in support of the completion of the Persepolis Fortification Archive (PFA) Project at the Oriental Institute. The PFA is a group of clay tablets discovered at Persepolis in 1933 by archaeologists from the Oriental Institute and provides an incredible source of information on the languages, art, institutions and history of Achaemenid Persia at its height. The PFA project, under the direction of Professor Stolper was first supported by Roshan Institute in 2013.

The new grant allows Professor Stolper to complete the project by engaging two students to work on the project during summer 2015 and summer 2016, and up to eight students to work part-time during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 academic years. This funding and work are of timely importance before the tablets leave the Oriental Institute to return to the National Museum of Iran.
Learn more about the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project
Persepolis in Pleiades http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/922695