1st Edition

The Archaeology of Iran from the Palaeolithic to the Achaemenid Empire

    652 Pages 555 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    652 Pages 555 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The Archaeology of Iran from the Palaeolithic to the Archaemenid Empire is the first modern academic study to provide a synthetic, diachronic analysis of the archaeology and early history of all of Iran from the Palaeolithic period to the end of the Achaemenid Empire at 330 BC.

    Drawing on the authors’ deep experience and engagement in the world of Iranian archaeology, and in particular on Iran-based academic networks and collaborations, this book situates the archaeological evidence from Iran within a framework of issues and debates of relevance today. Such topics include human–environment interactions, climate change and societal fragility, the challenges of urban living, individual and social identity, gender roles and status, the development of technology and craft specialisation and the significance of early bureaucratic practices such as counting, writing and sealing within the context of evolving societal formations.

    Richly adorned with more than 500 illustrations, many of them in colour, and accompanied by a bibliography with more than 3000 entries, this book will be appreciated as a major research resource for anyone concerned to learn more about the role of ancient Iran in shaping the modern world.

    1. The Archaeology of Early Iran: Perspectives from the past for the Present;  2. Placing Iran: Land, Environment and Ecology;  3. Approaching the past of Iran: A History of Archaeological Investigation;  4. Peopling Iran: The Palaeolithic Period, 500,000-12,000 BP;  5. Domesticating Iran: The Neolithic Period, 10,000-5200 BC;  6. Early Social Complexity in Iran: The Chalcolithic Period, 5200-3200 BC;  7. Iran’s First State? The Proto-elamite Horizon, 3200-2900 BC;  8. People on the Move: Prehistoric Networks of Bronze Age Iran, 3400-1100 BC;  9. Iran Beyond Borders: Bronze Age Societies of Eastern Iran, 3100-1250 BC;  10. Elam in the World of Bronze Age Southwest Asia, 2900-1100 BC;  11. Iran Imperial: Villages, Cities, States and Empires of the Iron Age, 1250-330 BC;  12. Themes and Issues in the Archaeology of Early Iran


    Roger Matthews is Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Reading. He is President of RASHID International, and previously was Director of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq and of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara. He is an elected Fellow of the British Academy and a Corresponding Fellow of the German Archaeological Institute. He has directed major field projects in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey for more than 35 years, and has published widely on the prehistory, archaeology and heritage of the Middle East. His current projects focus on early farming communities of Iran and Iraq, and on bureaucratic practices in early urban communities of the Middle East.

    Hassan Fazeli Nashli is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Tehran. From 2005 to 2009 he was Director of the Iranian Centre for Archaeological Research. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the German Archaeological Institute. Since 1996 he has directed numerous international joint research projects and fieldwork with colleagues and universities from the USA, Germany, UK, Italy, Canada, Poland and China. He has conducted more than 25 years fieldwork in the central plateau and northern regions of Iran, with a focus on socio-economic transformations from the late Epipalaeolithic to the Iron Age. Since 2017 he has directed a multi-disciplinary project in Mazandaran province of northern Iran in order to investigate long-term human-environment interactions through the Early and Middle Holocene.

    "The authors have here produced an indispensable research resource for students and specialists in the archaeology of Iran, dealing with a complex series of topics in masterly fashion. Especially innovative is the interweaving of multiple strands of archaeological evidence throughout the narratives of the book, including palaeoclimatology, archaeobotany and archaeozoology, which together succeed in bringing new perspectives on the past of Iran."

    ~Dr John Curtis, The Iran Heritage Foundation, Iran