The representation of Persepolis in the Iranian press of the 1930s

West stairs, Palace of Xerxes at Persepolis, excavation photograph, 1930s. Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

Devos, Bianca. 2018. “History is repeated”: The representation of Persepolis in the Iranian press of the 1930s. Die Welt des Islams 58(3). 326–356.

From spring 1931 to autumn 1939, the University of Chicago`s Oriental Institute con-ducted the first scientific excavations at Persepolis. The excavations coincided with a decade of profound change in Iran’s state and society. Under the rule of Reżā Shāh (1925- 1941), the Iranian state implemented a comprehensive nationalist and modernist reform agenda and propagated a distinctive national Identity. The press played a crucial role in this process, informing the public about the excavations at Persepolis, a site that is highly significant for the nanative of the nation’s past. This article traces how Eṭṭelāʿāt, a leading Tehran newspaper, covered Persepolis and the archeological excavations there. The aim in doing so is to illustrate how the Iranian press developed during the 1930s, a period during which the press was commercialized and professionalized and experienced increasing interference nom the state’s censors.