It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the death of Dr Chahryar Adle, the eminent Iranian scholar, who passed away in Paris on Sunday, 21 June 2015.
Chahryar Adle was born in Tehran in 1944 and after finishing secondary school, he embarked on the studies of Archaeology and Islamic Art at the Ecole du Louvre and obtained his doctorate in Oriental Studies at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in 1976. His doctoral thesis focused on the Persian chronicle, Fotuhat-e Homayun, on Shah ‘Abbas’s campaign versus the Uzbeks which led to the successful recovery of Herat in 1598.
His archaeological activities concentrated on the Islamic period both in Iran as well as Afghanistan and he published extensively on Islamic history, culture and archaeology, in particular the Safavid and Qajar periods. Adle was instrumental in registering as World Heritage sites a series of historical monuments in Iran, including the Naqsh-i Jahan Square in Isfahan, the Elamite site of Choga Zanbil in Khuzistan, the Elymaian site of Masjid-i Solaiman, and the Achaemenid site of Persepolis/ Takht-i Jamshid. Chahryar Adle cared passionately about the preservation of monuments, especially in Iran, and drew attention on an international scale to the devastating effects of the earthquake in Bam in 2003; for over a decade, he led the scientific investigations into this rich and important region of Iran.
Dr Adle was a member of the CNRS in Paris and a member of the Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (Mission de Balkh). He was the President of the International Editorial Committee of UNESCO’s History of Civilisations of Central Asia, a member of the Editorial Committee of Studia Iranica, and he was awarded the UNESCO Medal of the Five Continents in Paris in 2009.
Dr Adle’s last public appearance in the UK was at an international conference organised by Iran Heritage Foundation and sponsored by the British Institute of Persian Studies, among others, in January 2015: From Persepolis to Isfahan: Safeguarding Cultural Heritage, where he gave a talk entitled ‘The Inscription of the First Iranian Sites on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Properties in the Revolutionary Iran of 1979 and its Aftermath’.
Chahryar Adle will be missed by colleagues and friends in the international community and particularly in Iran. Our condolences go to his wife Maryam and his young son Homayoun, as well as his brother Kamran and all the Adle family.