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Hauser, Stefan R., Stronach, David, Gall, Hubertus Von, Wiesehöfer, Josef et Skjærvø, P. O.

« Herzfeld ». EIr 12, fasc. 3, (2003), pp. 290 – 302.

Compte-rendu réalisé par Aurélie Daems

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1– Stefan R. Hauser, « Herzfeld. i: Life and Work », pp. 290-293: Engineer, architect and art historian; young Herzfeld was a man of many talents when he first discovered archaeology at Assur with Andrae. Influenced by his later supervisor Meyer, his road led him on many surveys throughout Iraq and Iran; where he developed a strong interest in Sasanian and Islamic art. His surveys in the region resulted in him being appointed first full Professor teaching Near Eastern Archaeology throughout the world; a post he would seldom fill. He was more concerned with developing departments for antiquity within Near Eastern museums as well as a German Archaeological Institute at Teheran. In this vast overview of Herzfeld, the author shares with us also the ‘darker’ sides of the man: how he used the journals AMI and Iranische Denkmäler as personal forums and how he was accused (but never proven ‘guilty’) of using his diplomatic passport for unlawful export of Iranian art. Despite this, the article gives a good overview of a pioneer in many fields of the archaeology of the Near East.

2– David Stronach, « Herzfeld. ii: Herzfeld and Pasargadae », pp. 293-296: The devotion Herzfeld felt for the site of Pasargadae can be seen in his many studies connected to the site, not in the least in his debated efforts to indicate that Cyrus II completed his capital while still a satrap of the Mede Astyages. Stronach furthermore mentions Herzfeld solitary, small-scale excavations and studies of the site; which in some cases resulted in incorrect representations of parts of the monuments, too early dates and overlooking Strabo’s statement on Cyrus and Pasargadae. Nevertheless he remains – and we follow Stronach here – to be honoured as the leading person in examining and preserving the monuments of Pasargadae.

3– Hubertus Von Gall, « Herzfeld. iii: Herzfeld and Persepolis », pp. 296-298: As at Pasargadae, Herzfeld initially excavated Persepolis with minor financial and manpower support, which had an effect on the correctness of the results presented, a.o. in Iranische Felsreliefs. Once team and financial means were enlarged, more thorough work on the Apadana and the terrace could be effectuated, which resulted in the discovery of important foundation documents and the well-known ‘Fortification tablets’. Further finds, such as the friezes, which were intended to be published separately, where only mentioned briefly by his successor Schmidt, due to Herzfeld’s untimely death. With this note an overview is intended, and not so much a critique as to his work and his results.

4– Josef Wiesehöfer, « Herzfeld. v: Herzfeld and the History of Ancient Iran », pp. 300-302: Acclaiming Herzfeld’s talents as a pioneer in the History of Ancient Iran, Wiesehöfer informs us a.o. about young Herzfeld’s interest in detailed questioning and comprehension of the sources at hand. Furthermore, attention is put on such seemingly side-issues as character of the person and often unfortunate sloth of publication; which do have an effect on ultimate results. Nevertheless, Herzfeld is again applauded as the man bringing historical geography, Zoroaster, Old Persian Inscriptions and Achaemenid, Parthian and Sasanian history on the foreground in the study of Iranian archaeology. However, not without omitting he was also a man not eager to reconsider his views, especially where chronology was concerned.

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Aurélie Daems. Hauser, Stefan R., Stronach, David, Gall, Hubertus Von, Wiesehöfer, Josef et Skjærvø, P. O., « « Herzfeld ». EIr 12, fasc. 3, (2003), pp. 290 – 302. », Abstracta Iranica [En ligne], Volume 26 | 2005, document 56, mis en ligne le 08 décembre 2005, consulté le 24 janvier 2018. URL :

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