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Fri 2 December 2011 - Sun 4 March 2012
Tehran 50 celebrates the foundation of the Tehran Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) fifty years ago. The department commenced its work in 1961 and has been connected, as an external branch, to the DAI's Eurasian Department since 1996.
Iran's history has always fascinated scholars and inspired travellers to explore the country. Places such as Persepolis held the promise of unlocking the secrets of a past that was also of historical importance for Europeans. The exhibition starts of by taking the visitor back to a time when excavations were not commonplace. Conducting archaeological research in a country that did not conduct any itself was exciting from a professional level but also presented those involved with human challenges. Ernst Herzfeld's research in Persepolis is a good case in point.
Tehran 50 tells of the history of archaeology in Iran from two perspectives. The Second World War and its consequences set the formation of a department back by several decades. In 1961 offices were set up in the country however and the organization could lend its full professional support to the digs already underway at Takht-e Soleyman. The department's exploration of Persian history ranges from prehistory up to the Qajar dynasty. Apart from the 'view from the outside looking in' Tehran 50 also presents a look from within the country itself: the view of the Iranians observing Germans at work in their country. Relevant sources of information on this angle come in the form of archive material held at the institute itself, contemporary press reports and film footage. Ultimately, Tehran 50 also serves as a window to the future - a future that holds numerous possibilities to step up active cooperation between researchers from various nations.
Museum für Islamische Kunst
Eurasien-Abteilung des DAI