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Nagel, Alexander

National Museum of Natural History staff

Humanities, Cultural & Natural Heritage Preservation, Ancient Iran, especially Achaemenid and Sasanian Persian Material Culture and Archaeology, Persepolis, Susa, Greek, Roman and South Arabian Material Culture and Archaeology, Ancient Ceramics, Polychromy and Conservation Studies, Archaeometry, Provenance Research, Plaster Casts and Creation and Development of Antiquities Collections in Washington D.C.

Geographic Focus

Background And Education

Education And Training

Professional Biography

  • I am actively involved in the research and publication of materials from fieldwork in Greece (Aitoloakarnania) and Iran (Persepolis, Susa, Pasargadae). My main research interests include the legacy of ancient materials from these sites and regions, the archaeology and legacies of ancient Old World sites, the history and development of modern polychromy studies and the role of surface decorations and paint on monuments in the Achaemenid Persian Empire (c. 520-330 BCE) and the ancient world in general, ceramic containers, coroplastic industries and technologies in ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, beyond the Zagros Mountains, and materials which have been excavated in South Arabia (Yemen). In Washington, D.C., I curated a number of exhibitions and research projects, and I am writing and teaching about the reception of ancient cultures in the New World.

Publications

Selected Publications

  • Article

    • Nagel, Alexander. 2021. "Farbe in Persepolis. Bildkraft und Polychromie achaemenidischer Palast-Architektur." in Die Perser – Am Hof der Großkönige. Eine Ausstellung im Badischen Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, edited by Linke, Julia., 60-65. Philipp von Zabern und WBG. 2021
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2021. "Past Panoramas and Qatabān Legacies: South Arabian Archives and Materials in Washington, D.C.." in Contacts Between South Arabia and the Horn of Africa from Bronze Age to Islam in Honor of Rémy Audouin, edited by Darles, Christian, Khalidi, Lamya, and Arbach, Mounir., 15-29. Presses Universitaires du Midi. 2021
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2021. "The Mineral Universe of Elamite Susa and Achaemenid Persepolis." in Paleopersepolis Environment, Landscape and Society in Ancient Fars, edited by Balatti, Silvia, Klinkott, Hilmar, and Wiesehoefer, Josef., 59-76. Stuttgart Franz Steiner Verlag. 2021
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2020. "Preserving the Achaemenid Persian Legacy: Aspects of Conservation, Technology, Polychromy, and Material Culture in Persepolis." in The Art of Empire in Achaemenid Persia. Festschrift in Honor of Margaret Cool Root, edited by Dusinberre, Elspeth, Garrison, Mark, and Henkelman, Wouter., 113-136. Peeters. 2020
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2017. "World Heritage in Iran: Perspectives on Pasargadae (Heritage, Culture and Identity)." Iranian Studies 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2017.1347979 2017
    • Aloiz, Emily, Douglas, Janet G., and Nagel, Alexander. 2016. "Painted plaster and glazed brick fragments from Achaemenid Pasargadae and Persepolis, Iran." Heritage Science, 4, (3) 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40494-016-0072-7. 2016
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2015. "Capturing the History of Persepolis: The Squeeze as Tool in Art History and Archaeology." in Tools: Extending Our Reach, edited by McCarty, Cara and McQuaid, Matilda., 86-101. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. 2015
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2015. "Il cibo dell'antica tavola." in Symposium. A tavola tra mito e cultura., edited by Ghini, G., 40-43. Museo delle Navi Romane di Nemi. 2015
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2013. "Color and Gilding in Achaemenid Architecture and Sculpture." in The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, edited by Potts, Daniel., 596-621. Oxford University Press. 2013
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2013. "Crafting Glass Vessels: Current Research on the Ancient Egyptian Glass Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art." in Proceedings from a Workshop by the New Archaeological Research Network for Integrating Approaches to Ancient Material Studies (NARNIA), 659-671. New Archaeological Research Network for Integrating Approaches to Ancient Material Studies (NARNIA). 2013
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2012. "Enduring Legacies from the Caspian Sea: Ancient Iranian Ceramics." Orientations 43 (7):64-66. 2012
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2011. "Bleu et or: couleurs de Grand roi." Pour la Science, (406) 32–37. 2011
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2011. "Des Königs Farben: Gold und Blau." Spektrum der Wissenschaft, 4 32–37. 2011
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2009. "Searching for the gods at ancient Akarnania: new evidence from a ritual deposit near Stratos, Greece." Anodos 6-7:303-312. 2009
  • Book

    • Nagel, Alexander and Katsarou, Stella. 2020. Cave and Worship in Ancient Greece: New Approaches to Landscape and Ritual. Routledge. 2020
  • Chapter

    • Nagel, Alexander. 2021. "Achaemenid Persian Art and Architecture in the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin." in Achemenet. Vingt ans après. Ètudes offertes à Pierre Briant, edited by Agut-Labordere, Damien, Boucharlat, Remy, Joannes, Francis, Kuhrt, Amelie, and Stolper, Matthew W., 257-275. CT Peeters. 2021
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2020. "A River Ran Through It: Circulating Images of Ritual and Engaging Communities in a Cave in Aitoloakarnania." in Cave and Worship in Ancient Greece: New Approaches to Landscape and Ritual, edited by Nagel, Alexander and Katsarou, Stella., 115-143. 2020
    • Nagel, Alexander and Katsarou, Stella. 2020. "Introduction: On Reading Caves and Ancient Greek Cult." in Cave and Worship in Ancient Greece: New Approaches to Landscape and Ritual, edited by Nagel, Alexander and Katsarou, Stella., 1-16. 2020
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2019. "Research on Color Matters: Towards a Modern Archaeology of Ancient Polychromies." in Science in Color. Visualizing Achromatic Knowledge, edited by Bock von Wuelfingen, Bettina., 45-58. De Gruyter. 2019
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2018. "Painters' Workshops in the Ancient Near East. A Reassessment." in L'Orient est son jardin. Hommage à Rémy Boucharlat, edited by Gondet, Sebastien and Haerinck, Ernie., 377-386. Peeters. 2018
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2016. "Down to Earth in Arcadia. Terracotta Figurines from a Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Tegea." in Figurines de terre cuite en Méditerranée grecque et romaine, edited by Muller, Arthur, Laflı, Ergün, and Huysecom-Haxhi, Stéphanie., 425-430. Éditions du Septentrion. 2016
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2016. "Retrospectives and Perspectives: Terracotta Figurines from a Votive Deposit in Stratos, Aitolo-Akarnania." in Figurines de terre cuite en Méditerranée grecque et romaine, edited by Muller, Arthur, Laflı, Ergün, and Huysecom-Haxhi, Stéphanie., 449-456. École française d'Athènes. 2016
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2014. "Excavations in the Archive. An Update on the Ernst Herzfeld Online Resources at the Freer|Sackler in Washington, DC." in A Hundred Years of Excavations in Samarra, edited by Gonnella, J. and Finster, B., 20-29. Reichert. 2014
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2012. "Ernst Herzfeld." in Teheran 50. Eine Ausstellung im Museum fuer Islamische Kunst in Berlin, edited by Helwing, B. and Rahemipour, P., 42-65. Van Zabern. 2012
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2012. "Farbe in Persepolis." in Teheran 50. Eine Ausstellung im Museum fuer Islamische Kunst in Berlin, edited by Helwing, B. and Rahemipour, P., 171-173. Van Zabern. 2012
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2012. "Kuh-e Kwaja." in Teheran 50. Eine Ausstellung im Museum fuer Islamische Kunst in Berlin, edited by Helwing, B. and Rahemipour, P., 42-65. Van Zabern. 2012
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2012. "The Sasanians." in Byzantium and Islam. Age of Transition 7th-9th century, edited by Evans, Helen and Radcliff, Brandie., 27-27. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012
    • Nagel, Alexander and Rahsaz, Hassan. 2010. "Colouring the Dead: New Investigations on the History and the Polychrome Appearance of the Tomb of Darius I at Naqsh-e Rostam, Fars." in Death and burial in Arabia and beyond : multidisciplinary perspectives, edited by Weekes, Lloyd R., 289-298. Archaeopress. 2010
    • Nagel, Alexander. 2010. "Encountering the world of Aphrodite on the western Greek mainland." in Brill's companion to Aphrodite, edited by Smith, Amy C. and Pickup, Sadie., 235-250. Brill. 2010

Activities

Teaching Overview

  • I have been teaching classes on ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern material cultures in the US for students from Washington, D.C. and New York City. Using materials and collections from the Smithsonian Institution's collections, I have directed individual student's thesis, exhibitions as well as focused projects on materials and archives, on issues such as provenance, scientific analysis as well as the history and legacy of ancient materials in Washington, D.C.

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Contact

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