The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives announces a new 3-D digital resource that will enable scholars and the public to learn more about the ancient Near East through a unique group of pressed-paper molds called squeezes. This resource provides unparalleled access to the archives’ collection of squeezes from ancient Near Eastern archaeological sites.
The squeezes were created in the early 20th century by the German archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld (1879-1948), a prominent scholar on the ancient Near East, as a way to record intricate inscriptions on monuments and other stone buildings. They were formed by pressing layered, wet, moldable paper into an inscription and leaving it to dry, creating a 3-D mirror-image representation of the original. Created to serve as temporary reference materials, the squeezes have become vital to continued research for archaeological sites that are no longer accessible.
The squeezes contain Arabic script, Middle Persian and Cuneiform impressions from archaeological sites such as Pasargadae, Persepolis, Naqsh-i Rustam and Paikuli.