GHIRSHMAN, Roman

GHIRSHMAN, Roman (Roman Mihajlovič Giršman). Harkiv 3.10.1895 — Budapest 5.9.1979. Russian (Ukrainian?) Archaeologist of Iran in France. “Le duc de Suse”. Born in a wealthy Jewish family in Ukraina he became in 1914 an officer in Russian army and fought in WW 1 and 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 (first in Iraq). 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, he joined France libre and, after Hackin’s death, was also acting director of D.A.F.A. in 1941-43 in Afghanistan, where he 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 and elsewhere in Iran. In 1965 A.I.B.L., 19?? Dr.h.c. Tehran. Married 1931 Tania Levienne (—> Tania Gh.). Died during a conference.

Publications: With others: Fouilles de Tépé-Giyan près de Néhavend, 1931 et 1932. 6+144 p. Sér. Arch. Louvre 3. P. 1935.

Fouilles de Sialk près de Kashan 1933, 1934, 1937. 1-2. 8+152 p. 96 pl. Sér. Arch. Louvre 4. P. 1938-39.

Diss. 1. Bégram. Recherches archéologiques et historiques sur les Kouchans. 14+232 p. 54 pl. M.D.A.F.A. 12. Le Caire 1946; diss. 2. Les Chionites-Hephtalites et le déchiffrement de l’écriture tokharienne. 13+156 p. 8 pl. M.D.A.F.A. 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. 6+104 p. 53 pl. M.D.A.I. 36. P. 1954; later reports often in Arts as.; Mission de Susiane, 1966–1976. 1-6. 19??.

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

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

La Ziqqurat. I. Tchoga-Zanbil (Dur Untoshi). M.D.A.I. 39. 1966; II. Tchoga-Zanbil Temenos. Temoles. Palais. Tombes. M.D.A.I. 40. 1968.

With T. Ghirshman & H. Gasche: Terrasses sacrées de Bard-è Néchandeh et Masjid-i Solaiman : l’Iran du sud-ouest du VIIIe s. av. n. ère au Ve s. de n. ère. 1-2. M.D.A.I. 45. P. 1976.

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

– “Suse au tournant du IIIe ai IIe millénaire avant notre ère”, Arts As. 17, 1968, 3-44; articles and reviews also in RevueArch, RevueArtsAs & Arts As., Iran, Iranica Ant., Syria, etc.

Sources: L. Martinez-Sève, Encyclop. Iranica 10:6, 2001, 583-586 (online 2012); 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.; Sixth Presentation of the Charles Lang Freer Medal. 5+31 p. Washington D.C. 1974 with photo and selected bibliography; Wikipedia unreliable (both English and French make him come to Paris in 1917).

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