Professor Studying Embattled Tablets Being Returned to Iran to Speak for Ides of November

Oct. 20, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University will welcome Professor of Assyriology Matthew Stolper on Monday, November 15 at 4 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium of The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington). His talk, titled “Shattered Window on the Persian Empire: Rescuing the Persepolis Fortification Archive,” is sponsored by the Greek & Roman Studies Department, Eta Sigma Phi and the Classics Club, and is part of the Ides Lecture & Performance Series.

The director of the Persepolis Fortification Archive Project at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, Stolper studies clay tablets discovered in the ancient ruins of Persepolis in the 1930s by a University of Chicago expedition. Currently, the government of Iran and the university are battling for possession of the tablets. This June, a court order demanded some of the tablets be returned to Iran.

Stolper is hoping to make the tens of thousands of the Persepolis clay tablets available online. According to him, the tablets are scheduled to be put up for auction and could disappear from public view once returned to Iran. Around 300 of tablets, which recorded the daily rule of Achemenid Persian kings from 550-330 B.C., are slated to be returned. It will be the first return of items to the nation since the 1979 revolution.

For additional information about the speaker or the Ides series, contact the Greek and Roman Studies Department at (309) 556-3173.

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960