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University of Chicago (Chicago, IL 60637-5418)
Matthew W. Stolper (Project Director: July 2007 to February 2012)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

$350,000 (approved)
$350,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2008 – 6/30/2011

Persepolis Fortification Archive

Cataloging and digitizing administrative documents dating from 500 B.C. from Persepolis, the chief imperial residence of the Achaemenid kings in the homeland of the ancient Persian Empire.

In 1933, archaeologists from the Oriental Institute discovered tens of thousands of clay tablets and fragments at Persepolis, the palace complex of the Achaemenid Persian kings in Iran. They proved to be records of a regional administration from the imperial palaces in the years around 500 BC. The Persepolis Fortification Archive is a unique source for the languages, art, history, society, and institutions of ancient Iran and is in danger of being lost due to recent political and legal disputes. This project is conducting an accelerated program of recording the Archive, both texts and seal impressions. The Project uses several forms of electronic imaging, and co-ordinates the several kinds of information to be recorded with a suite of on-line tools for managing and presenting archaeological and textual data in a common environment. The results are to be distributed both in electronic form, on a continuous basis, via both the web, and in conventional printed form.