Masks are required for all visitors. Read our safety guidelines.

An Empire in Blue—Color in Persepolis: New Research on the Polychromy of Achaemenid Persian Palace Sculpture, ca. 520 to 330 BCE

This event is expired.

Scherman Lecture Series

Speaker: Dr. Alexander Nagel, Assistant Curator, Ancient Near Eastern Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution

The well preserved remains of the UNESCO world cultural heritage site of Parsa (Greek: Persepolis) is one of the most fascinating sites in southwestern Iran despite the extensive destruction of its magnificent palaces by Alexander the Great. Early travelers had noted traces of paint on its stone sculptures and monuments, but few scientists had looked into the extent of colors that had once embellished these works. Nagel will describe his study of the colors on the monuments and reveal how his results can change our perception of the ancient Near East.

Book signing to follow Lecture:

David Stronach, Professor Emeritus, Near Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, will be on hand to sign Ancient Iran from the Air, published by Philipp von Zabern. Stronach co-edited thisc ollection of photographs taken between 1976 and 1978 by Georg Gerster, one of the world’s foremost aerial photographers, who flew across the length and breadth of Iran to photograph the memorable landscapes, archaeological sites, and historical monuments that characterize this storied land.

Copies of Ancient Iran from the Air will be available for sale at this special event.

Ticket Information

Free to the public. Advance registration is required:


The Scherman Lecture Series is sponsored by the Scherman Family Foundation

Contact Information