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Geographies of Contact

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V. Orientalist Contact Zones

The First British and French Archaeological Investigations in Susa during the 19th Century

Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam

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Extrait du texte

Iran, also known in the West under the name of “Persia” in English and “Perse” in French, has a rich civilization going back over more than 7000 years. This country has a long history traditionally divided into the Ancient and the Islamic periods. The date that separates these two periods is 651 AD and corresponds to the death of the last king of the Sassanid dynasty (224-651). In spite of this long history, the scholarly knowledge Iranians have of their past only dates back to the end of the 19th century. Before that time, the history of the ancient period was mixed with legends and myths. In other words, the Iranians ignored almost completely the history of their civilization.

Why did this knowledge become scientific in the 19th century? The answer lies in the archaeological excavations, led in Susa, first by British, then by French agents. The present work attempts to show why British agents were interested in Susa in the 19th century. Who were these British pioneers and what did ...

Auteur

Nader Nasiri-Moghaddam finished his PhD in Oriental Languages and Civilizations at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) in 2002, after studying History in Iran (University of Tehran). His thesis, entitled “Les missions archéologiques françaises et la question des antiquités en Perse (1884-1914)”, received the Best Dissertation of the Year Award from the Foundation for Iranian Studies and was published in Paris in 2004 as: L’Archéologie française en Perse et les antiquités nationales (1884-1914). He is the author of books and articles concerning the Safavid and Qajar periods and has been teaching as Assistant Professor at the University of Strasbourg, France, since September 2006. His works deal with the relationship between Iran and the West (16th-20th centuries), the history of archaeology and art marketing in Iran. Since September 2016, he has been Professor and Head of the Department of Persian Studies at the same university.

© Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2017

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