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Wilhelm Dörpfeld (or Doerpfeld) (26 December 185325 April 1940) was a Germanmarker architect, best known for his contributions to classical archaeology.


Dörpfeld was born in Barmenmarker, Wuppertalmarker. In 1877 he became an assistant at the Olympiamarker excavations under Richard Bohn, Friedrich Adler (whose daughter he later married), and Ernst Curtius. In 1882 he joined Heinrich Schliemann, who was then excavating Troymarker. He continued to work with Schliemann in Tirynsmarker (1884–1885), took part in the Acropolis excavations (1885–1890), the Pergamon excavations (1878–1886, with Carl Humann and later from 1900–1913, with Alexander Conze), and in the 1931 excavations in the Agora of Athensmarker.

Dörpfeld excavated Troymarker in the second campaign (1893–1894). He believed that Heinrich Schliemann had destroyed parts of the upper layers (where he had believed that Troy was) by digging down to the bottom two Troy layers.

In the year 1896 Dörpfeld founded the German School of Athens, which is also named after him "Dörpfeld Gymnasium".From 1887 to 1912 he was the director of the German Archaeological Institute in Athens. He died on 25 April 1940 in Lefkadamarker and he is buried at Nydrimarker, where he believed that Odysseus's palace is located.

Dörpfeld is considered the pioneer of stratigraphic excavation and precise graphical documentation of archaeological projects.


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