Otto Puchstein

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Otto Puchstein
Puchstein memorial stone in Łobez

Otto Puchstein (born July 6, 1856 in Labes , † March 9, 1911 in Berlin ) was a German classical archaeologist . His main research area was ancient architecture, he carried out excavations and building research .


Otto Puchstein was born in Labes in Pomerania as the son of a master baker. He graduated from high school in Dramburg in 1875 and then studied Classical Archeology, Classical Philology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Strasbourg from 1875 to 1879 , where he received his doctorate in 1880 under Adolf Michaelis . In 1879 he was initially a research assistant at the Berlin museums , from 1881 to 1883 he received a travel grant from the German Archaeological Institute . In 1883 he became assistant director at the Berlin museums, and in 1889 he also received his habilitation at Berlin University . In 1896 he became professor of classical archeology in Freiburg i. Br. And then from 1905 to 1911 General Secretary of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.

Puchstein worked on Nemrut Dağ (1882/83), examined the temples in the Greek colony cities of Lower Italy and Sicily (1892–94) together with Robert Koldewey , conducted research in Baalbek (1902–05), Palmyra and in Hattuscha (1907). He was a co-founder of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin and designed the reconstruction of the Pergamon Altar .

Puchstein contributed to the deciphering of the Hittite cuneiform writing by discovering biblical names on clay tablets in the Indo-European language and comparing them with known Old Testament texts.

Puchstein was buried in his hometown of Labes. After 1945, when Labes came to Poland, the family mausoleum was destroyed. In 1993 a memorial stone for Otto Puchstein was erected in front of the cemetery in the city (now Łobez in Polish ).

Fonts (selection)

  • Epigrammata Graeca in Aegypto reperta. Truebner, Strasbourg, 1880 (= dissertation).
  • with Carl Humann: Travels in Asia Minor and Northern Syria . Reimer, Berlin 1890 ( online ).
  • with Robert Koldewey: The Greek temples in southern Italy and Sicily. 1st volume text, 2nd volume panels. Asher, Berlin 1899.
  • Description of the sculptures from Pergamon, 1 gigantomachy. 2nd Edition. Reimer, Berlin 1902.
  • Guide through the ruins of Baalbek. Reimer, Berlin 1905.


  • André Jolles : Otto Puchstein. In: Biographisches Jahrbuch für Altertumskunde 35, 1913, pp. 192–211.
  • Hermann Winnefeld : Otto Puchstein. In: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Architektur 5, 1911, pp. 47–52.
  • Obituary. In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute, Athenian Department. 1911, p. 112.
  • Dieter Mertens : Otto Puchstein . In: Reinhard Lullies , Wolfgang Schiering (Hrsg.): Archäologenbildnisse . Portraits and short biographies of classical archaeologists in the German language. Zabern, Mainz 1988, pp. 118-119.
  • Volker KästnerPuchstein, Otto. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 20, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-00201-6 , p. 756 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Silvia Alaura: The scientific legacy of Otto Puchstein in the archive of the German Archaeological Institute Berlin. In: Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 51, 2009, pp. 5-35.
  • Silvia Alaura: The scientific correspondence of Otto Puchstein in the manuscript department of the State Library in Berlin - Prussian cultural property . In: Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 52, 2010, pp. 5-31.

Individual evidence

  1. Helene Kerle: Collection: University discovers Hilzinger treasure . In: Südkurier from January 13, 2014

Web links

Wikisource: Otto Puchstein  - Sources and full texts