(1931 – 2020)
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor David Stronach, the founder and first Director of the British Institute of Persian Studies in Tehran in 1961. After some years at Khiaban-e Takht-e Jamshid (now Khiaban-e Taleghani), the ever-expanding and vibrant institute under the directorship of David Stronach moved to new purpose-built premises in Gholhak in northern Tehran. BIPS was a popular destination for international scholars researching various aspects of Iranian studies, and it was particularly popular with archaeological missions who often stayed there before and after embarking on excavations.
David Stronach himself directed various successful excavations in Iran, including Yarim Tappeh in 1960 and 1962, Pasargadae, the capital of Cyrus the Great, between 1961 and 1963, a joint excavation with John Hansman at Shahr-i Qumis near Damghan between 1967 and 1976, and his excavations at the Median site of Tappeh Nush-i Jan near Malayer between 1967 and 1978.
He left Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and after a brief stay in London he, his wife Ruth and their two daughters Keren and Tami moved to the US, where David first found a post at the University of Arizona, and in 1981 was appointed Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of California at Berkeley.
David Stronach maintained his contact with Iran and was much admired and esteemed by Iranian archaeologists young and old. He also remained in touch with BIPS in London where he was an Honorary Vice-President. He will be greatly missed by many friends and colleagues all around the world.
The Council of BIPS conveys its condolences to Keren and Tami Stronach and their family.