Herzfeld, Ernst, 1879-1948

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The Ernst Herzfeld Papers document the career of Ernst Herzfeld (1879-1948), a German architect, archaeologist, and historian of Islamic and Pre-Islamic studies. After training as an architect he studied archaeology under Delitzch from 1903 to 1906 at the excavations at Assur in Mesopotamia. A Student of Latin, Greek, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew, Herzfeld received a doctorate in humanistic studies at universities in Munich and Berlin in 1907. His work with Friedrich Sarre to survey the monuments of the Tigris-Euphrates valleys resulted in landmark studies in architectural history, published in 1911 and 1920.

In 1920 Herzfeld was appointed to the chair of Historical Geography in Berlin and began his excavation at Samarra. Herzfeld's work there led to a six-volume publication. He published widely throughout his life on the sources of Islamic architecture and ornament, including the Royal Palace at Persepolis.

From 1934 until the end of his life Herzfeld spent his time producing many books and articles; lecturing; and working at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1936-1945.) Many of his works continue to be published post-humously.

  • 1879 July 23: Born in Celle, Germany
  • 1897: Received diploma from Joachimsthaler Gymnasium, Berlin.
  • [1897 - 1898?] : Fulfilled military service.
  • [1899?]: Studied architecture at the Technical University and Assyriology, art history, and philosophy at the Friedrich-Wilhems Universität in Berlin.
  • 1903: Passed exam in structural engineering.
  • [1903 - 1905] : Assistant to Walter Andrae (1875-1956) in Assur.
  • 1905 - 1906 : Traveled throughout Iran and Iraq.
  • 1907: Passed oral exam in February Excavation in Cilicia. Awarded doctorate in humanistic studies by Friedrich-Wilhems Universtät zu Berlin. After receiving Ph.D. Traveled extensively in Syria and Iraq with Friedrich Sarre, director of the Islamic Museum in Berlin.
  • 1910: Herzfeld and Sarre jointly publish, Iranische Felsreliefs (Berlin, 1910.)
  • 1911 - 1913 : Field Director under direction of Sarre during expedition to Samarra.
  • [1914?]: Drafted into service in France and Poland during World War I. Sent to Iraq where he functioned as a surveyor.
  • 1916: Father died.
  • 1917: Appointed associate professor for Historical Geography and Art History of the Ancient Orient at Berlin. Along with Friedrich Sarre and others, founded the German-Persian Society to increase cultural and economic exchange between Germany and Persia.
  • 1920: Appointed world's first full professor of Near Eastern Archeology. Begins excavation at Samarra.
  • 1922: Mother died.
  • 1923 - 1934 : In Persia where he completed many excavations and studies.
  • 1928: Excavation at Pasargadae.
  • 1931 - 1934 : Appointed director of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and moved to Persepolis.
  • 1934: As grand-son of Jews, Nazi legislation expelling state employees of Jewish descent forced Herzfeld to retire as a professor employed by the state. Moved to London.
  • 1936: Moved to Boston. Lectured on Iranian history and appointed a member of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. Delivered Lowell Lectures.
  • 1944: Retired from Princeton University.
  • 1948 January 20: Died.

From the guide to the Ernst Herzfeld Papers, 1899-1962, (The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Rings, arcs, snakes, and cross [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Two horned animals and bird, with central piercing [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Three hatched lines, thickly gouged, or schematized horned animals [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of crisscross pattern [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with chevrons in two quarters and banded triangles in two quarters [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of chevrons crossed by pair of parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Ram-headed demon flanked by snakes on one side, and two lions in opposite orientation [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Ram-headed demon flanked by crescents and caprids [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Ernst Herzfeld Papers, 1899-1962 Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Horned animal or hare, thickly gouged [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Lion, with crescent above [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross composed of five parallel lines, with central drilling [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Boar or other quadruped, with snake above [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with thickly gouged line or "T" in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with pair of parallel lines in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Stag or other horned animal, bird, and row of parallel lines or hatchings [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Bird or cross and schematized animals and bucrania, deeply gouged [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Globular ram or other caprid above snake [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of rectangle containing two panels of crossed lines and middle panel of parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Branches or groups of chevrons flanking central line [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of drilled globes and globes with horns [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Hatched line or leaf pattern [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of parallel lines and other linear designs within rectangular frame [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Three-headed snake [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or star pattern of six chevrons, each with a wedge in its corner [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with group of parallel lines in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with line in each quarter, forming a subposed square [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Line with parallel crossing lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of central line with flanking groups of parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or pinwheel pattern of ring surrounded by curving gouges [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Myron Bement Smith collection, circa 1910-1970 Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Bull or other horned animal, with bird and crescent [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Globular snakes [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of central drilling surrounded by hatched ring inside ring, with transverse piercing [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of overlapping crosses, with transverse drilling [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with parallel lines in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of dot-circles with surrounding arcs [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Lion, with bird above [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Kilted king with scepter/mace and deity facing suppliant goddess, with monkey, ball-staff, and above, crescent [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Unknown globular animal design [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Schematized lion and other quadruped [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with group of parallel lines in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern including ladder designs, parallel lines, and central line [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Snake, crescent, line, and wedges, damaged [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or leaf pattern of central line with flanking and crossing parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Snake above bull, inverted crescent, and globes, with transverse piercing [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Schematized figure, fish, and irregular lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of five intersecting groups of parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Ram -headed demon holding fish, flanked by axe and hook [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with triangular gouge or wedge in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of central dotted line with flanking rows of parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Unknown design, possibly animal [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Quadrupeds [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of dot-circle within circle within ring of wedges [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Lion, with crescent above [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Schematized ibex and bull or other horned animal, between single borders [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Two-headed caprid, with hatched border on one side, and unknown design on the other [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of parallel wavy lines or zigzags [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Bull facing standards, and two rows of vessels [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or leaf pattern of two parallel lines with flanking parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Three snakes or wavy lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Lion and snake on one side, horned animal and young on another [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of figure eight with globes and wedges inside ring [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Unknown design, perhaps bucranium or other animal heads [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Starfish pattern surrounded by hatches and arcs [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Schematized globular animal or figure [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Globular seated figure or quadruped [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Robed worshipers flanking bull and winged disk, with caprid over palmette [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Globular figure, scorpion, two quadrupeds, and snake [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Winged disk, scorpion, and rosette, between single borders [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Pair of rams or other horned animals, in opposite orientation [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with chevrons in two quarters and globe and lines in two quarters [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Animal with heads of ibex and stag on one side, and two lions in opposite orientation on the other [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Four-headed antelope or other caprid, with small animal above and below [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Irregular lines, possibly schematized horned animal [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of central drilling surrounded by ten identical drillings or globes, with transverse piercing [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of two parallel lines crossing hatched ring [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of parallel lines radiating around central drilling [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of outlined cross [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Lizard flanked by crescents [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or leaf pattern of parallel arching lines with central line [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of four intersecting groups of parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Globular coiled snake [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Globular animal with surrounding globes [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or leaf pattern of two central lines with crossing parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of line, three-pointed crown , and inverse arch [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Pair of horned animals facing tree [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of three panels or registers of gouged wedges [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of irregular crossed lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Rings or circles within two rows of triangles, between double borders [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Goddess leading worshiper to seated god holding vessel and suppliant goddess, with crescent above [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Oskar Morgenstern papers, 1866-1992 and undated David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Horned animals [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Snake and gouged wedge [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Lion, with bird above [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Six drilled globes around central globe [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Pair of running ibexes, with globular animals [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of lines or schematized horned animal [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Standing figure with exaggerated hands, scorpion, and globular seated figures [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Globular animal, monster or or tree with six limbs [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of irregular parallel and crossing lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with banded triangle in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Horned animal and snake, damaged [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or star pattern of ring with radiating points [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric or leaf pattern of central line with flanking parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Scorpion, star, and crescent on one side, and hatched cross on the other [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Lizard flanked by branches, with crescents [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of concentric circles with superposed cross [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Smiting figure and kneeling victim, suppliant goddess, and worshipin king facing ascending sun god (Shamash) holding saw, with crescent-disk and calf [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Antelope above other horned animal [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Scorpion [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of schematized, globular animals and snake [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Snakes and chevrons [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Crescent, wedges, and horned object/animal [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of irregular cross with parallel lines in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Archer shooting at dragon or snake, between single borders [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Pair of horned animals, in opposite orientation, with unknown animal/object between [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross and diamond within square frame [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of cross with globe and hatched line in each quarter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of parallel lines with central piercing [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of irregular crisscrossed lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Snakes, chevrons, and central ellipse, with transverse piercing [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Caprid, schematized figure, and limbs [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of irregular groups of parallel lines [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Three ibexes or other caprids [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Porada, Edith, 1912-1994. Geometric pattern of central line with parallel lines on perimeter [seal impression]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Anistas Mari, al-Karmili, ab, 1866-1947 person
associatedWith Becker, Carl Heinrich, 1876-1933 person
associatedWith Bell, Gertrude Lowthian, 1868-1926 person
associatedWith Berchem, Max van, 1863-1921 person
associatedWith Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum corporateBody
associatedWith Krefter, Friedrich, 1898-1995 person
associatedWith Meyer, Eduard, 1855-1930 person
associatedWith Morgenstern, Oskar, 1902- person
associatedWith Sarre, Friedrich Paul Theodor, 1865-1945 person
correspondedWith Smith, Myron Bement, 1897-1970 person
associatedWith Verlag Philipp von Zabern corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Pasargadae (Extinct city)
Turkey
Mesopotamia
Bakun, Tall-e (Iran)
Lebanon
Sāmarrāʼ (Iraq)
Taq-e Bostan Site (Iran)
Iran
Syria
Iraq
Persepolis (Iran)
Subject
Antiquities
Inscriptions
Aerial photography
Ayyubids
Numismatics
Decoration and ornament
Architectural Drawings
Abbasids
Art of the Islamic World
History
Description and travel
Religious buildings
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Excavations (Archaeology)
Pottery
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1879-07-23

Death 1948-01-21

Germans

German

Information

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SNAC ID: 29811938