Dr. Matt Stolper of the Oriental Institute lectures on Persepolis and the Economy of Achemenid Persia as a part of the docent training miniseries.
The panel discussion wrapping up the Ancient Economy docent training miniseries.
Wouter F. M. Henkelman and Mark B. Garrison
From Humban to Auramazda – Image and Text. A New Religious Landscape for the Early Persians
Montag, 13. Mai 2013, 15.00 Uhr
The Persepolis Fortification texts, a large economic archive of sealed claytablets written in Elamite cuneiform and Aramaic alphabetic script (ca. 500BCE), is rapidly becoming established as the most important primary source for the early Achaemenid Empire. The overwhelming richness of the glyptic imagery and the vast potential of its textual contents are unparalleled among other sources from the period. And though the preserved timespan (16 years) is rather short, the archive bears a relevance to a much longer period, notably the fundamental context of cultural encounters between Elamites and (Indo-)Iranians in centuries prior to the emergence of the empire. As such, the archive supports the view that, as in later periods of Iranian history, Persian identity at the time of the Achaemenids was rather inclusive. A telling example is that of the religious landscape: whereas the early Persians were previously viewed as the heralds of an enlightened new faith (Zoroastrianism) that was believed to have either emerged in a cultural void or have contrasted markedly with that of the ‘pagan’ Elamites, the Fortification archive now shows us an entirely different and much more interesting world. Replacing an almost colonist perspective of cultural dominance, it reveals a variegated divine and ritual imagery, as well as a surprisingly mixed pantheon served by priests with Elamite or Iranian titles performing sacrifices with Elamite or Iranian names. As such, the archive challenges the idea of religious, Zoroastrian or Mazdaic, orthodoxy and simultaneously forcefully underlines the importance of Elamite traditions alongside the Indo-Iranian heritage. In the end, then, the new evidence once more eloquently demonstrates what may be the most important trait of Persian culture: the ability to reach synthesis.
Mark B. Garrison is professor of Art and Art History, Art and Art History at Trinity Uni-versity (San Antonio, Texas) and an expert of Achaemenid glyptic art. Wouter F. M. Henkelman is Humboldt Research Fellow at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut as well as assistant professor of Elamite and Achaemenid Culture at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Paris). Garrison and Henkelman have been collaborating closely for almost ten years in the edition and study of the Persepolis Fortification archive.This will be a joined presentation in which the lecturers will speak alternately. The presentation will be in English, but it will be supported by a PowerPoint in German; the discussion will be in English and German.
The event will be followed by a wine reception.
EventlocationBerlin, Topoi-Haus Dahlem, Hittorfstraße 18, 14195 Berlin
Hundreds Probably thousands business Tablets Elamite Discovered On Terrace HerzfeldSee This Day in OI History on Facebook
The First Circuit Court of Appeals on February 27, 2013 decided in favor of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA) and Harvard’s museums in the case of Rubin v. Iran.
The case involves victims of a 1997 Iranian-backed terrorist bombing who seek to satisfy a multi-million dollar default court judgment awarded to them in 2003. Since 2005 the Rubin plaintiffs have argued that approximately 2000 reliefs, sculptures, and other archaeological objects located at the MFA and Harvard are the property of Iran that can be seized. The cultural institutions have been contesting that claim, and yesterday the First Circuit agreed.
The appeals court decision extended its sympathies to the the plaintiffs, saying “we are mindful of the incident that gave rise to the judgment here and the difficulty the plaintiffs are having collecting on that judgment ….” But the justices upheld “the general rule … that foreign sovereign property in the United States is immune from attachment and execution” because of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act (FSIA). 28 U.S.C. § 1609.
The appeals court acknowledged that the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA) “carves out a narrow exception to that rule, applicable only to ‘blocked assets,’” but wrote that “the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that any of the antiquities in the Museums' possession fall within that exception.”
The MFA and Harvard argued in the lower federal district court that Iran does not own the cultural objects. Even if they were owned by Iran, the MFA and Harvard maintained that the FSIA makes the objects immune from attachment...
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled Wednesday that people injured by a terrorist attack financed by Iran cannot make a claim on Iranian antiquities held in a Harvard University museum. Several Americans with claims against Iran have tried to collect money owed by that nation by going after antiquities at various American institutions. But the appeals court ruled -- as other courts have ruled -- that there are very limited circumstances in which artifacts can be seized as assets, and that this is not one of them. The legal challenges to ownership of these antiquities have worried many museum officials who have feared that they would be unable to obtain loans of art from other countries if that art might be seized.The ruling: