Eckhard Unger

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eckhard Unger (born April 11, 1884 in Landsberg an der Warthe , † July 24, 1966 presumably in Helmstedt ) was a German ancient orientalist and Near Eastern archaeologist .


Eckhard Unger was the son of the lawyer Wilhelm III. Unger (1849–1910) and his wife Helene, b. v. Sassen (1851–1935) born. He was the great-grandson of the ducal Mecklenburg-Strelitz court painter Wilhelm I. Unger (1775–1855) and a direct descendant of the widely ramified Tischbein family of painters from Haina in the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel .

Unger attended humanistic grammar schools in Berlin ( Luisengymnasium ), the municipal grammar school in Prenzlau and Leipzig and in 1904 passed the Abitur at the Thomas School in Leipzig. From 1904 to 1911 he studied Classical Archeology, Assyriology, Ethnology and Art History in Leipzig and attended lectures by Max Heinze , Otto Immisch , Karl Lamprecht , Joseph Partsch , Gerhard Seeliger , August Schmarsow , Theodor Schreiber , Georg Steindorff , Franz Studniczka , Wilhelm Wachsmuth , Franz Weißbach , Karl Weule , Ulrich Wilcken , Wilhelm Wundt and Heinrich Zimmer . In 1911 he was promoted to Dr. phil. PhD. From 1911 to 1918 Unger worked as custodian of the ancient oriental department of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum and taught at the Darülfünun University in Istanbul from 1915 to 1918 . Unger is considered one of the first archaeologists from the Middle East.

From 1919 to 1923 he was an unskilled worker in the Foreign Office. In 1923 he was a co-founder of the Ancient Near Eastern Society on Hiddensee , completed his habilitation in Berlin in 1924 for Near Eastern Archeology and was made an associate professor in 1930. From 1924 to 1925 and from 1932 to 1935 he headed the ancient oriental department of the museum in Istanbul.

Unger became a member of the NSDAP on January 1, 1932 . In 1937 he became a permanent professor at the University of Berlin as the successor to Ernst Herzfeld . Unger held this professorship until 1945. In 1937 he wrote the text The ancient swastika as a cyclone. World and people in the ancient Orient . In 1943 he married Irmgard Brückner (1886–1978), daughter of a long-established academic family from Neubrandenburg .

Together, the couple took part in the reconstruction of the war-torn Mecklenburg city and in the late 1940s earned lasting merits in re-establishing the Heimatmuseum in Neubrandenburg . After his retirement, Unger continued to teach at the universities in Greifswald and Rostock and moved to Neubrandenburg. In old age he did research on seal images and dealt with topics of southeast Mecklenburg history and his own family research. In 1953 he supervised excavations in the St. Marienkirche in Neubrandenburg . Unger died during a lecture tour to the FRG (in Helmstedt ?) And found his final resting place in the new Neustrelitz cemetery , where his grave has been preserved to this day. Parts of Unger's estate went to the "Brückner (Neubrandenburg) family archive" , which after a long odyssey recently found its way into the regional museum in Neubrandenburg.

Unger's merits lie in the partial reassessment of Neo-Assyrian art. For example, he presented a new concept for the reconstruction of the Balawat Gate . He was also the first researcher to research the White Obelisk . He also published the reliefs Tiglatpileser III. In 1916, as the curator of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum , he identified and described a find in the museum's collection as a benchmark . This from the 3rd millennium BC Nippur cubits , which originated in BC , are now considered the archetypal measure of pre-metric length measures .


  • To the bronze gate of Balawat. Contributions to the explanation and interpretation of the Assyrian inscriptions and reliefs of Shalmaneser III . Eduard Pfeiffer, Leipzig 1913. (= dissertation).
  • Two Babylonian antiquities from Nippur . Constantinople 1916. (Publications of the Imperial Ottoman Museums, 1)
  • The restoration of the bronze gate of Balawat . In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute. Athenian Department 45, 1920, pp. 1–105.
  • Sumerian and Akkadian art . Shepherd, Breslau 1926.
  • Assyrian and Babylonian art . Ferd. Shepherd, Breslau 1927.
  • The cityscape of Assur . Hinrichs, Leipzig 1929. (The old Orient, 27.3)
  • Babylon. The holy city as described by the Babylonians . Berlin 1931
    • Photomechanical reprint of the 1931 edition, ext. a preliminary remark by Rykle Borger . De Gruyter, Berlin 1970.
  • The ancient swastika as a hurricane. World and people in the ancient Orient. Witting, Berlin 1937.


  • Ernst Weidner: Obituary Eckhard Unger . In: Archive for Orient Research 22, 1968/69, pp. 210–211 (with picture)
  • Ludmila Hanisch: The successors of the exegetes: German-language exploration of the Middle East in the first half of the 20th century . Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2003. p. 209 ( digitized version )
  • Erika Bleibtreu ; Johannes Boese; Barthel Hrouda : Orientalist Life. Short biographies by EF Weidner, B. Meissner, E. Unger and F. Hommel . In: Alter Orient aktuell 8 (2007), pp. 26–27.
  • Johannes Hürter [Red.]: Biographical manual of the German Foreign Service 1871-1945. Published by the Foreign Office, Historical Service. Volume 5: T - Z, supplements. Arrangement: Bernd Isphording, Gerhard Keiper, Martin Kröger. Schöningh, Paderborn [et al.] 2014. ISBN 978-3-506-71844-0 .

Web links