August 17, 2017

The Stones of Persepolis: Dissemination, Excavations, and Reconstruction

Dr. Lindsay Allen
Lecturer in Greek and Near Eastern History, King's College London
Oriental Institute Collections Research Grant Recipient

Wednesday, August 30th
7:00 pm
Breasted Hall at the Oriental Institute

From 1931 to 1939, the Oriental Institute’s excavation at Persepolis was one of its most high profile enterprises, transforming the site with an archaeological infrastructure, which included a palatial dig house and even an air strip. Chicago’s remit to ‘restore’ the complex, in the language of the Iranian government, came in the wake of episodes of extensive looting of its architectural sculpture, which can be documented from the eighteen hundreds and well into the twentieth century. Persepolis can be found today not just in the Midwest, but also in Mumbai, Tokyo and St. Petersburg. This talk reveals how the stones of Persepolis came to be dispersed to global museums before the advent of formal excavations, and how the Oriental Institute’s explorations both challenged and powered the circulation of objects that offered international points of contact with this charismatic site.

Arrive early and take the opportunity to see the current special exhibition, Persepolis: Images of Empire, before it closes on Sunday, September 2nd.