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Archaeological Sites: Pasargadae

Pasargadae. Negative no. 448. Ernst Herzfeld papers, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

Herzfeld visited Pasargadae in 1905 and conducted a survey there in 1923. He returned for an intensive excavation campaign in 1928. Pasargadae also has been explored by Iranian archaeologist Ali Sami, a British team led by David Stronach, and recently by French and Italian archaeologists. Considered the oldest Achaemenid Persian capital, Pasargadae is home to the tomb of Cyrus the Great (d. 530 BCE) and a series of palaces and gardens. These squeezes mainly are from post-Achaemenid inscriptions, Islamic gravestones around the Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, and a thirteenth-century mihrab in the tomb's interior (see image above). The Freer and Sackler also own fragments of wall paintings discovered in one of the palaces, as well as a selection of shards from the site.


Arabic

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A_37a Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, on Sarcophagus I, Found in Mashhad-i-Madar-i-Suleiman, at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923.

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A_38 Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, on Sarcophagus III, Found in Mashhad-i-Madar-i-Suleiman, at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923.

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A_39 Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, on Sarcophagus IV, Found in Mashhad-i-Madar-i-Suleiman, at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923.

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A_40 Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, Found on Stone Lintel in Mashhad-i-Madar-i-Suleiman, at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923.

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A_40a Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, Found on Stone Lintel in Mashhad-i-Madar-i-Suleiman, at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923.

Full Catalog Record
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A_40b Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, Found on Stone Lintel in Mashhad-i-Madar-i-Suleiman, at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923.

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A_40c Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, Found on Stone Lintel in Mashhad-i-Madar-i-Suleiman, at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923.

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A_41 Excavation of Pasargadae (Iran): Squeeze of Arabic Inscription, Found at Mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, 1923-1928.
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The Freer is closed for renovation and reopening in 2017. The Sackler remains open, with a full lineup of exhibitions and events both in the museum and around DC.