An outstanding scholar in the field of Iranian studies, Ernst Herzfeld (1879--1948) explored all phases of Near Eastern culture from the prehistoric period to Islamic times. This collection documents Herzfeld's excavations at Samarra, Persepolis, Pasargadae, and Aleppo and includes correspondence; field notebooks; drawings; sketchbooks; inventories of objects; "squeeze" copies of architectural details; and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
Papers (1899--1962) of German born archaeologist Ernst Emil Herzfeld (1879--1948), a preeminent scholar of Near Eastern and Iranian studies. The collection measures 150 linear feet (circa 30,000 items) and documents Herzfeld's work as a pioneer in the field and sheds light on his excavations at Samarra, Persepolis, Pasargadae, and Aleppo. Formats include correspondence; field notebooks; drawings; sketchbooks; inventories of objects; "squeeze" copies of architectural details; and photographs.
This collection is organized into seven series.
Series 1: Travel journals
Series 2: Sketchbooks
Series 3: Notebooks
Series 4: Photographic files 1-42
Series 5: Drawings and maps
Series 6: Squeezes
Series 7: Samarra Expedition
Biographical / Historical:
The Ernst Herzfeld Papers document the career of Ernst Herzfeld (1879--1948), a German architect, archaeologist, and historian of Islamic and Pre-Islamic studies. After training as an architect he studied archaeology under Delitzch from 1903 to 1906 at the excavations at Assur in Mesopotamia. A student of Latin, Greek, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew, Herzfeld received a doctorate in Humanistic Studies at universities in Munich and Berlin in 1907. His work with Friedrich Sarre to survey the monuments of the Tigris-Euphrates valleys resulted in landmark studies in architectural history, published in 1911 and 1920.
In 1920 Herzfeld was appointed to the chair of Historical Geography in Berlin and began his excavation at Samarra. Herzfeld's work there led to a six-volume publication. He published widely throughout his life on the sources of Islamic architecture and ornament, including the Royal Palace at Persepolis.
From 1934 until the end of his life Herzfeld spent his time producing many books and articles, lecturing, and working at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1936--1945.) Many of his works continue to be published post-humously.
1879 July 23 -- Born in Celle, Germany.
1897 -- Received diploma from Joachimsthaler Gymnasium, Berlin.
1897-circa 1898 -- Fulfilled military service.
circa 1899 -- Studied architecture at the Technical University and Assyriology, art history, and philosophy at the Friedrich-Wilhems Universität in Berlin.
1903 -- Passed exam in structural engineering.
1903-1905 -- Assistant to Walter Andrae (1875-1956) in Assur.
1905-1906 -- Traveled throughout Iran and Iraq.
1907 -- Excavation in Cilicia. Passed oral exam in February. Awarded doctorate in Humanistic Studies by Friedrich-Wilhems Universtät zu Berlin. After receiving Ph.D. traveled extensively in Syria and Iraq with Friedrich Sarre, director of the Islamic Museum in Berlin.
1911-1913 -- Field Director under direction of Sarre during expedition to Samarra.
circa 1914 -- Drafted into service in France and Poland during World War I. Sent to Iraq where he functioned as a surveyor.
1916 -- Father died.
1917 -- Appointed associate professor for Historical Geography and Art History of the Ancient Orient at Berlin. Along with Friedrich Sarre and others, founded the German-Persian Society to increase cultural and economic exchange between Germany and Persia.
1920 -- Appointed world's first full professor of Near Eastern Archeology. Begins excavation at Samarra.
1922 -- Mother died.
1923-1934 -- In Persia, where he completed many excavations and studies.
1928 -- Excavation at Pasargadae.
1931-1934 -- Appointed director of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and moved to Persepolis.
1934 -- As grandson of Jews, Nazi legislation expelling state employees of Jewish descent forced Herzfeld to retire as a professor employed by the state. Moved to London.
1936 -- Delivered Lowell Lectures. Moved to Boston. Lectured on Iranian history and appointed a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study.
1944 -- Retired from Princeton University.
1948 January 20 -- Died.
Ernst Herzfeld donated his papers to the Freer Gallery of Art in 1946.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.