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Samarra Resource Page



Samarra’s 100th Anniversary

Ernst Herzfeld’s archaeological excavation of Samarra will mark its 100th anniversary in 2011.  To honor the occasion, the Freer|Sackler Archives has created the Samarra Resource Page that collates collections online content, social media content, and related scholarly content, to provide an easy central resource for all of the Herzfeld paper materials and products.  Preservation, digitization, and cataloging have been made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation.

Background on the Samarra Excavation

Sponsored by the (then) Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, Ernst Herzfeld conducted two campaigns in Samarra from 1911-1913.  This excavation was the first of its kind to perform a large-scale archaeological survey of Islamic antiquities.  The first excavation performed included over nineteen
sites: Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil, Congregational Mosque of Madinat al-Mutawakkiliyya, Shiite Shrine Complex, Qubbat al-Ṣulaibiyya; palaces of Balkuwārā, Ṣūr Īṣā, and the Qaṣr al-Āshiq; the Cemetery at Shabbat al-Hawā; Mausoleum of Imām al-Dūr; Tall al-Alīq; Ḥarba Bridge and finally the residential architecture at al-Quraina, al-Qāṭūn, al-Jubairiyya, and west of Ṣūr Īṣā, and the baths.   His second, and arguably more ambitious campaign, focused on Dār al-Khilāfa.

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Online Resources

Samarra Records
Herzfeld Records
Herzfeld Image Gallery
Herzfeld in the Collections Blog
Herzfeld Bibliography (pdf)
Freer|Sackler Youtube
Freer|Sackler Archives


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