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Iran (Persia as it was then known)

Iran (Persia as it was then known)

Rene visited Iran (Persia then) in 1962 for his geology doctorate.
He loved photography and these are some moments he caught on his travels.

Below is a description of the Geological survey gratefully supplied by Martin R Glaus

In the late fifties UNESCO supported the Geological Survey of Iran, headed by Mr. Khadem if I remember correctly, both financially and organisationally. Within this project, a programme was set up whereby last year geology students of Professor Augusto Gansser (who had worked with NIOC before moving to Zürich) of the Geological Institute Zürich (both ETH and University) could embark on their PhD course by doing two years (summers) geological field mapping in northern Iran’s Elburz mountains. They were given special, semidiplomatic passports by the Swiss government and all their expenses (flights, upkeep in Teheran, jeep with driver, cook, camping material, food etc.) were paid by the programme. In return, they had to be accompanied by senior Iranian geology students whom they were supposed to teach how to do field mapping.
In short, a fantastic opportunity for the students Prof. Gansser chose to send.

A first group consisted of Messrs. Lorenz, Dedual and Meyer who went to Iran in 1960/61. A second group of Messrs. Allenbach, Steiger and Glaus worked in 1962/63. We generally spent 2-3 weeks in the field, brought there by our drivers in their jeep, and from the dropping point we hired mules to get into the mountains away from, in my case, the Karadj – Chalus road (Kandevan pass). We set up camp wherever we wanted to map (on arial photographs, maps not being available) and were fed by our cook. Of course we had several tents.
The mapping season lasted from May to about end September.

Every 2-3 weeks we drove back to Teheran to replenish our food stock, to report to Dr. Jovan Stöcklin, a Swiss geologist in the Geological Survey departement and to relax. On one of these breaks we were all sitting at dinner in a restaurant
where we experienced the 1962 earthquake. I remember the high wall surrounding the garden of the restaurant swaying back and forth. In the following days we travelled, together with Prof.Gansser who was visiting and Dr. Stöcklin, through the devastated areas, an impressive but sad sight, whole villages totally destroyed and the stench of decaying bodies in the air.

After us several groups still worked in Iran, till the programme ended, probably in the late sixties or early seventies. Both Peter Allenbach and I joined Shell after completing our PhD thesis, but I completely lost touch with René Steiger who followed a different professional path.

More info about these geological surveys to Persia

More info about these geological surveys to Iran/Persia

Iran (Persia) Rudehen 1962
Iran (Persia) Rudehen Sept 1962
Iran Ab e Garm, July 1962
Iran (Persia), Pulur, 1962
Iran (Persia), Tehran, Ghale Morghi, July 1962
Iran, Tehran, 26 Oct, 1962
Iran (Persia), Persepolis, Nov 1962
Iran (Persia), La Sur, 1962
Iran (Persian), Tehran, Oct 1962
Iran (Persia), Ta Res, Sept 1962
Iran (Persia), Tehran, Ghale Morghi, 1962
Iran (Persia), Tehran, Ghale Morghi, Oct 1962

About The Author


Photographer and some time publisher - or is it the other way around? Often seen around east london and further afield (Italy) with main man Rudy the bulldog @Rudybulldog (keeps me sane), love cycling, F1 (increasingly less so) and Liverpool fan but don't hold that against me.

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