GHIRSHMAN, Roman (Roman Mihajlovič Giršman)

GHIRSHMAN, Roman (Roman Mihajlovič Giršman). Harkiv 3.10.1895 — Budapest 5.9.1979. Russian Archaeologist of Iran in France. “Le duc de Suse”. Born in a wealthy Jewish family in Ukraina he became an officer in Russian army and fought in the White Army in Crimea. In 1917 escaped to Constantinople, where he had to earn his living by playing violin in a cinema. For a while he worked in a kibbutz in Palestina and came to Paris in 1923. Here he worked first as the cashier of a night club by the Boulevard Montparnasse, but soon also started studies at Sorbonne, É.P.H.É. and Louvre (under Dussaud, Virolleaud, Scheil). Naturalized as French citizen, he participated in excavations in Iran. In 1931-72 (42 years!) directeur de la mission du Louvre en Iran. First, and then often, excavations at Susa, in 1935-41 also at Bishapur, Giyam and Sialk. During the war, after Hackin’s death, he was also acting director of D.A.F.A. in Afghanistan 1941-43 and continued the excavations at Begram. In 1943-46 at I.F.A.O. in Cairo, then back to Iran. After he had published his two dissertations in 1946 and 1948 he became in 1948 Professor at Aix-en-Provence, but left soon in order to carry on further excavations at Susa. In 1965 A.I.B.L., 19?? Dr.h.c. Tehran. Married with —> Tania Gh.

Publications: Fouilles de Tépé-Giyan. 1935; Fouilles de Sialk. 1-2. 8+152 p. 96 pl. Sér. Arch. Louvre 4:1. P. 1938-39.

diss. 1. Bégram. Recherches archéologiques et historiques sur les Kouchans. MDAFA 12. Le Caire 1946; diss. 2. Les Chionites-Hephtalites et le déchiffrement de l’écriture tokharienne. 13+156 p. 8 pl. MDAFA 13 / Mém. de l’Inst. fr. d’arch. or. du Caire 80. Le Caire 1948.

L’Iran des origines à Islam. 330 p. ill. P. 1951, 2nd ed. 1976, English Iran from the earliest times to the Islamic conquest. Harmondsworth 1954.

– “Cinq campagnes de fouilles à Suse 1946–1951”, Revue d’Assyriologie et Archéologie Orientale 46, 1952, 1-18; Mission Susiane, village perse achéménide. 104 p. 53 pl. MDAI 36. P. 1954; Mission de Susiane, 1966–1976. 1-6. 19??.

Bichâpour II. Les mosaïques sassanides. 202 p. ill. P. 1956; B. I. 1971.

La Ziqqurat. I. Tchoga-Zanbil (Dur Untoshi). MDAI 39. 1966; II. Tchoga-Zanbil Temenos. Temoles. Palais. Tombes. MDAI 40. 1969?.

Perses. Proto-Iraniens, Mèdes-Achéménides. 1963, in English The Art of Ancient Iran. 440 p. 585 ill. N.Y. 1964, in German München 1964; Parthes et Sassanides. 1962; Tombe princière de Ziwiyé et le début de l’art animalier scythe. 49 p. 22 pl. Leiden 1979.

L’Iran et la migration des Indo-Aryens et des Iraniens. 88 p. Leiden 1977.

a great number of articles in CRAI, Art.As., etc.

Sources: L. Martinez-Sève, Encyclop. Iranica 10:6, 2001, 583-586; M. Yazdani, D.O.L.F. 443-445; *Studia Iranica 9, 1980, 143-145; D.B.F. fasc. 90, 1982; Bio-bibliogr. de 134 savants. Acta Ir. 1979, 188-201; *NAA 1980:6, 243f.; Wikipedia unreliable (both English and French make him come to Paris in 1917).


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