Papertrails and Polychromies at Persepolis: Working on the Monuments of Darius the Great (549-486 BCE) in Iran

posted Nov 3, 2016, 1:03 PM by Bill Marzella   [ updated Nov 10, 2016, 2:07 PM ]
A Lecture by Alexander Nagel, PhD
Wednesday, December 14, 2016


The impressive monuments on the UNESCO world heritage site of Persepolis near the modern city of Shiraz, Iran remain one of the best-preserved architectural edifices to study aspects of ancient architecture and technology between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Excavated since the 19th century, the buildings at Persepolis as well as those at Pasargadae and Susa were originally covered with bright colors and metal attachments. Since 2006, Dr. Nagel has been working with colleagues on the sites to determine the original polychrome appearance and to understand the functioning of the work force on the monumental architectures of these sites. This talk will provide an overview of the work, look at early 20th century polychrome Persian architecture displays in Washington, DC, and invite the audience to look beyond traditional ways of looking to past architectures, cultures and their modern preservation and display.

Alexander Nagel (Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2010) has been working on the archaeology and architecture of ancient Iran since 2006. His scholarly interests include research on pigments, polychromy, masons’ marks and ancient technology. He has also participated in archaeological fieldwork projects in Greece (Stratos), and he is working on aspects of heritage preservation in Yemen. As former Assistant Curator of Ancient Near East in the Freer Sackler, and as a current Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History he has curated museum installations and exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution and at Foreign Embassies. He has taught at the University of Maryland and at New York University in Washington, DC, and he has published widely on the results of his research.

The First Congregational United Church of Christ
945 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 
6:30 pm – reception, 7:00 pm – brief annual meeting and lecture


Reservations are not required. $10.00 for Latrobe Chapter members, student members (full time) free with ID, $15.00 for non-members (reduced admission for non-members!).
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Bill Marzella,
Nov 10, 2016, 2:08 PM
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