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S. J. Vernoit

(b Chaumont, Haute-Marne, Jan 21, 1881; d Paris, July 31, 1965).

French archaeologist and art historian, active in Iran. Godard qualified as an architect at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and in 1910 became involved with the urban planning of Baghdad. At this time, he began to develop an interest in the archaeology and art of the Middle East. He visited Egypt and Syria and, in 1923, went to Afghanistan to research Buddhist remains. In 1928 he settled in Iran, where he lived until 1960, except for the years 1953–6. During his years in Iran he directed the College of Fine Arts, Tehran, and the Department of Antiquities, founded the Archaeological (Iran Bastan) Museum and drew up plans for the museums of Mashhad and Abadan. He also initiated the documentation and restoration of many ancient monuments and archaeological remains and gained access to sites previously forbidden to non-Muslims. He published many of the principal monuments of Iran in such learned journals as ...


S. J. Vernoit


(b Celle, July 23, 1879; d Basle, Jan 21, 1948).

German architect, archaeologist, historian and philologist. He was educated at the universities of Munich and Berlin and at the Technische Hochschule, Charlottenburg, where he trained as an architect. In 1903 he visited the Middle East by participating as field architect in the excavation of Assur by the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft. The expedition was led by Friedrich Delitzsch, Herzfeld’s instructor in Assyrian and Arabic, and it enabled him to learn the techniques of excavation and to develop his interest in early Islamic culture. After returning to Germany, he made a journey through Luristan to visit Pasargadae and Persepolis, and following the acceptance of his doctoral thesis on Pasargadae by the University of Berlin in 1907, he travelled with Friedrich Sarre, his lifelong colleague and friend whom he had met in 1905, from Istanbul via Aleppo and Baghdad to the Gulf to find an Islamic site suitable for excavation. The choice fell upon ...


Dominique Collon

(Howard Frederick)

(b Edgbaston, Birmingham, May 30, 1902; d Oxford, Jan 7, 1996).

English excavator, architect, writer and teacher. He qualified as an architect (RIBA) 1926, working for two years for Sir Edwin Lutyens before setting up his own practice. His employment as architect during the 1929 excavations at Tell el-Amarna led to a change in career, and until 1937 he worked for the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago excavations in the Diyala region of Iraq, north-east of Baghdad, at Khorsabad in northern Iraq and on the aqueduct built by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (reg 704–681 bc) at Jerwan; Lloyd helped perfect techniques for tracing mud-brick architecture and made innovative use of kite photography. Between 1937 and 1939 he excavated with Sir John Garstang at Mersin in southern Turkey and carried out a key survey of sites in the Sinjar district of northern Iraq. Between 1939 and 1948, while working as Adviser to the Directorate General of Antiquities in Baghdad, he excavated Hassuna, Tell Uqair, Tell Harmal and Eridu. In ...



C. A. Burney

Site of an Urartian temple of the 9th and 8th centuries bc in eastern Anatolia, Turkey. It is situated on a hilltop more than 300 m above the main road from Erciş, on the north-east shore of Lake Van, to Karaköse (Ağrı). The temple is the earliest known example of the Urartian square tower form, built of ashlar masonry with a mud-brick superstructure (see Urartian, §2). It was excavated by a Turkish expedition in the 1960s and finds are in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Set into the fine basalt ashlar are the only two known copies of the Annals of Menua (c. 810–c. 788 bc), suggesting that he accorded this district a special status, perhaps as providing a base for his northern campaigns. Fragmentary wall paintings were discovered but left in situ.

A fortified enclosure below the temple, known as Aznavurtepe, may well have served as a compound for the cavalry and for captured livestock; there are traces of a reservoir for the storage of melted snow from the slopes. The perimeter wall is of a design not found elsewhere in Urartu and incorporates a series of towers (8×9 m) that straddle the wall, projecting from both the outer and inner faces; the towers were constructed first....


Robert C. Henrickson

[Umm Dabaghiyah]

Prehistoric site in the Jazira in northern Iraq, c. 100 km south-west of Mosul. Umm Dabaghiya was a specialized settlement and trading post that flourished c. 6200–c. 5750 bc and is an early ceramic site with distinctive architectural features. Many of the finest objects from the site are now to be found in the Iraq Museum, Baghdad. Diana Kirkbride conducted four seasons of excavation (1971–4), clearing a large area (c. 3000 sq. m). Periods of abandonment separated the four levels of occupation (IV–I). In the better-preserved earlier levels (IV–III) three blocks of double or triple rows of small, well-built, rectilinear compartments (each c. 1.5×2.0 m) defined three sides of a large open area. Their size and lack of household features indicate they were used for storage; the overall layout suggests a planned construction. Beyond these were small, irregular one- to three-roomed houses. Exterior ovens opened into the interior for hearths that had chimneys. Plastered steps and toeholds in the upper walls and the absence of doorways suggest that entry was from the roof. Some of the white-plastered interiors, especially in levels IV–III, had painted bands around the floor and naturalistic frescoes on the walls, one of which seems to depict an onager hunt (Baghdad, Iraq Mus.; ...



Joan Oates

[Bibl. Erech; Class. Orchoë; now Warka]

Site in southern Iraq of an important Sumerian city, once situated on a branch of the Euphrates, continuously occupied from the 5th millennium bc to Sasanian times (7th century ad); it is noted especially for remarkable architecture of the 4th millennium bc (Uruk period) and for the world’s earliest written documents. The site was excavated in 1850 and 1854 by William Kennet Loftus; since 1912 German teams have worked there under J. Jordan (1912–13, 1928–31), A. Nöldeke (1931–3, 1934–9), E. Heinrich (1933–4) and, since 1954, under H. Lenzen and later J. Schmidt. Most of the finds are in Baghdad (Iraq Mus.), although some of Loftus’s are in London (BM) and some from the earlier German excavations are in Berlin (Pergamonmus.).

The city of the legendary Gilgamesh, Uruk is believed to have consisted originally of two settlements, Kullaba and Eanna, of which Kullaba, the site of the later Anu precinct, is believed to be the earlier. Here two temples of the 5th millennium ...