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Loeschcke, Georg

Date born: 1852

Place born: Penig, Saxony, Germany

Date died: 1915

Place died: Baden-Baden, Germany

Archaeologist and scholar of Greek pottery. Loeschcke studied archaeology under Johannes Overbeck in Leipzig between 1871-73, together with fellow student Adolf Furtwängler. He continued study at Bonn under Reinhard Kekulé von Stradonitz where he specialized in pottery. He traveled to Greece and Italy in 1877, funded by a stipend from the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute ) in order to study the finds of the Heinrich Schliemann excavation, then widely assumed to be of little importance. The result of his findings was an important book for Mycenaean pottery. Mykenische Thongefäße, written with Furtwängler, 1879, established the basic chronology of Mycenaean ceramics. That same year Loeschcke accepted a professorship in philology and archaeology at the university in Dorpat, (modern Tartu, Estonia). While at Dorpat he published his second major work on Mycenaean pottery, also with Furtwängler, Mykenische Vasen, in 1886. In 1887 he was named first secretary to the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut in Athens. When Kekulé advanced to the university in Berlin, Loeschcke replaced him in Bonn in 1889. At Bonn, he supervised many dissertations including Margaret Bieber, Hans Dragendorff, Paul Jacobsthal, Georg Karo, T. Leslie Shear (1880-1945) and Fritz Weege (1880-1945). Loeschcke again succeeded Kekulé in Berlin when Kekulé died in 1912. In Berlin the young Bernhard Schweitzer, who later constructed a chronology for Geometric pottery, took courses under him.

Loeschcke and Furtwängler revolutionized the approach to pottery, basing it less upon esthetic appreciation and more on historical evaluation. Their analysis of Mycenaean pottery established it as distinct from Geometric. They concluded that pottery could be used to date an excavation by determining the latest styles to be found there. Loeschcke's later research focused on the limes (outskirts) of the Roman world. In Loeschcke's case, he analyzed the Rhineland digs, dating them accurately through artifacts ignored by other scholars.

Home Country: Germany

Sources: Archäologenbildnisse: Porträts und Kurzbiographien von Klassichen Archäologen deutscher Sprache. Reinhard Lullies, ed. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1988: 106-107; Medwid, Linda M. The Makers of Classical Archaeology: A Reference Work. New York: Humanity Books, 2000 pp. 186-88; Encyclopedia of the History of Classical Archaeology. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996, vol. 2, pp. 688.

Bibliography: and Furtwängler, Adolf. Mykenische Thongefäße. Festschrift zur Feier des fünfzigjährigen Bestehens des Deutschen Archaeologischen Institutes in Rom. Berlin: A. Asher & Co., 1879; and Furtwängler, Adolf. Mykenische Vasen: vorhellenische Thongefässe aus dem Gebiete des Mittelmeeres. Berlin: Asher & Co., 1886.