Tag Archives: Iranian Art and Archaeology

Some stamp seals of Achaemenid date

Collon, Dominique & John Curtis. 2017. “Some stamp seals of Achaemenid date“, In Y. Heffron, A. Stone and M. Worthington (eds), At the Dawn of History: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honour of J.N. Postgate, 765-780. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns.

This paper discusses a collection of 17 distinctive bronze stamp seals. They are all plaques or tablets of bronze, more or less flat on both surfaces, and square or rectangular in shape. More than half of them have a distinctive ladder-pattern border around the decorated face of the seal. The designs are usually highly stylized but sometimes more naturalistic. These seals may be compared with a stone seal from Nimrud and a silver ring from Kamid el-Loz. They apparently date from the Achaemenid period, 5th-4th century BC, and probably derive mostly from the western part of the Persian empire.

Picturing Pasargadae: Visual Representation and the Ambiguities of Heritage in Iran

Mozaffari, Ali. 2017. “Picturing Pasargadae: Visual Representation and the Ambiguities of Heritage in Iran“, Iranian Studies 50(4), 601-634.

This paper probes the relationship between visual representations and visitation practices at Pasargadae, a UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Iran. Presenting a systematic analysis of publicly available online images of Pasargadae, the paper examines the complex relationship between the place and its visual representations. Through analysis, the paper elaborates on a sense of intimacy that, while grounding Pasargadae, is also a potential common ground in pre-Islamic heritage in which the Iranian state and society could at once meet and contest versions of identity. Examining this relationship facilitates reflections into both heritage and the peculiarities of its visual representation in the Iranian context.

Archaeological Discoveries at Tillya–tepe and Parthia’s Relations with Bactria

Olbrycht, Marek Jan. 2016. “Archaeological Discoveries at Tillya–tepe and Parthia’s Relations with Bactria“, Parthica 18.

A number of studies have been published on a variety of aspects of the Tillya-tepe necroplis, its cultural associations and ethnic interpretations. However, the determination both of its date and origin, as well as of the ethnicity of the nomads who established the necroplis has proved an extremely controversial issue. A closer examination is needed of the coins and the attributes of power discovered in the furnishings of the Tillya-tepe graves. The necropolis should be seen in the context of Parthian history in the 40s and 50s A.D., when during the reigns of Vardanes, Gotarzes II and Vologases I the clans of Bactria engaged in the Parthian domestic conflict. Taking the historical developments into account, it seems reasonable to reduce the time interval for the death of the prince of Tillya-tepe to ca. A.D. 41-53, when the Sakas and other peoples of the north-eastern marches of Parthia were taking an active part in the battle of the Parthian giants.

Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Volume 53

Ancient Near Eastern Studies is a refereed journal and accepts original articles devoted to the languages and cultures of the ancient Near East. The geographical area on which we primarily focus includes the modern lands of Egypt, Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Sheikhdoms. Manuscripts on related languages and cultures in neighbouring regions will also be considered.

Several papers and reviews of Volume 53 of Ancient Near Eastern Studies are related to Iran:

Signaling Theory and Dress in Period IVb at Hasanlu Iran

Cifarelli, Megan. 2017. Costly choices: Signaling theory and dress in period IVb at Hasanlu Iran. Cifarelli, Megan & Laura Gawlinski (eds.), What shall I say of clothes? Theoretical and methodological approaches. Boston: The Archaeological Institute of America.

A growing body of work on dress in antiquity has probed more deeply the embodied experience of wearers, the relational aspect of the way dress communicates, and the role of dress as an active element in, rather than a passive reflection of, the construction of identity. It remains challenging, though, to interpret material evidence that shows abrupt changes in
dress practice. This article explores the potential of costly signaling theory, borrowed from evolutionary archaeology, for interpreting the gendered, militaristic dress-related artifacts introduced in the burials of the early first millennium B.C.E. at Hasanlu, Iran, a period of external threatand internal upheaval. Rather than characterizing these changes as simply evidence of “militarization” in a time of crisis, this article argues that a seemingly unwearable type of dress item participated in an effective, mutually beneficial form of communication by which men and women negotiated identity and power at the site.

Archaeology and Globalization

Hodos, Tamar (ed.) 2017. The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization. Routledge. Continue reading Archaeology and Globalization

International Journal of the Society of Iranian Archaeologists 2(3)

The third published issue of International Journal of the Society of Iranian Archaeologists 2 (3) (2016) is dedicated to the Persian Gulf. For a table of contents and access to articles, see below or visit this page.

Cameron A. Petrie: “Kaftati and Kaftari-Related Ceramics in Southwest Iran and the Persian Gulf

Lloyd Weeks: “Iran and the Bronze Age Metals Trade in the Persian Gulf

Hossein Tofighian & Farhang Khademi Nadooshan: “Ancient Maritime Trade in the Persian Gulf: the Evidence of Sassanid Torpedo Amphoras

Touraj Daryaee: “The Sasanian ‘Mare Nostrum’: The Persian Gulf

Donald Whitcomb: “Persian Documents In The National Archives (Torre Do Tombo) Of Portugal And Their Importance For The History Of Persian Gulf In The 16th -17th Centuries

Daniel T Potts: The Shi‘a origins of the 12th century ‘Uyunid Madrasah Abu Zaidan (Suq al-Khamis Mosque) on Bahrain

Painted plaster and glazed brick fragments from Pasargadae and Persepolis

Aloiz, Emily, Janet G. Douglas & Alexander Nagel. 2016. Painted plaster and glazed brick fragments from Achaemenid Pasargadae and Persepolis, Iran. Heritage Science (4) 3.

A PDF file of the paper is available online. Continue reading Painted plaster and glazed brick fragments from Pasargadae and Persepolis

Religion, History and Art of Ancient Iran

Farridnejad et al. Faszination Iran — Cover 2015Farridnejad, Shervin, Anke Joisten-Pruschke & Rika Gyselen (eds.). 2015. Faszination Iran. Beiträge zur Religion, Geschichte und Kunst des Alten Iran. Gedenkschrift für Klaus Schippmann. (Göttinger Orientforschungen. III. Reihe: Iranica, Neue Folge 13). Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz Verlag.

This Memorial Volume is dedicated to one of the most prolific and renowned scholars in the field of Ancient Iranian Archaeology and History, the late Professor Klaus Schippmann (1924-2010), who held the chair of “Near Eastern Archaeology with special reference to Iran” at Georg-August University of Göttingen until his retirement in 1990.

The volume consists of eleven papers, written by some of the foremost scholars in the field of Iranian Studies as well as some of his lifetime friends and colleagues. The articles are essentially concerned with different aspects of Ancient Iranian Art, Archaeology, History, Numismatics and Religion, reflecting the scholarly interests of Klaus Schippmann. The volume is accompanied also by parts of his unpublished private diary (1959) from his Nachlass, reflecting his ideas, visions and memories of his excavations as well as one report of his last trip to his favourable archaeological site of taḫt-e soleymān (Iran), written by his personal tour leader. The book is illustrated by numerous plates.

This volume could be of interest for scholars and students of Ancient Iranian Art, Archaeology, History, Religion and other neighbour disciplines.

Table of Contents (PDF):
  • In Memoriam Klaus Schippmann
  • Anke Joisten-Pruschke: „Ich muss irgendwie sehen, dass es für mich einen Weg gibt Archäologie zu studieren“ – Klaus Schippmanns Tagebuch einer Reise in den Vorderen Orient (1959)
  • Oric Basirov: “Proselytisation” and “Exposure of the Dead”:
    Two Christian Calumnies Commonly raised against the Sasanians
  • Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis: “Observations on some coins of Persis”
  • Touraj Daryaee: “The Xwarrah and the Sēnmurv: Zoroastrian Iconography on Seventh Century Copper Coinage
  • Shervin Farridnejad: “Das zoroastrische mār-nāme „Schlangenbuch“. Zur zoroastrischen Volksreligion und Ophiomantik”
  • Rika Gyselen: “Some Thoughts on Sasanian mgwh-Seals”
  • Bruno Jacobs: “Zur bildlichen Repräsentation iranischer Eliten
    im achämenidenzeitlichen Kleinasien”
  • Anke Joisten-Pruschke: “Feudalismus im Sasanidenreich?”
  • Wolfram Kleiss: “Hochterrassen – Zikkurati – Stufenpyramiden”
  • Karin Mosig-Walburg: “Herrscherpropaganda der Nachfolger Shapurs I. (Ohrmazd I. – Narse) – Ein Beitrag zum Verhältnis von König und Adel im Sasanidenreich in der zweiten Hälfte des 3. Jh. n. Chr.”
  • Michael Shenkar: “Aspects of Iconography of Ahura Mazdā: Origins and Significance”
  • Dieter Weber: “Spätsasanidische Preislisten im frühislamischen Iran”
  • Hartmut Niemann: “Der Kreis schließt sich – Klaus Schippmanns letzte Reise zum ‘Takht’ “

The comprehensive history of Iran

Mousavi-Bojnourdi, Kazem (General Editor). 2015. The comprehensive history of Iran. 20. Vols. Tehran: The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia.

The Comprehensive History of Iran, a multi-volume survey of Iranian history in Persian language is published by The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (CGIE). The twenty volumes cover the history and historical geography, politic, culture and arts of the greater Iran, including all territories inhabited by or staying under the cultural influence of peoples of Iranian descent , from prehistoric times up to the Qajar dynasty. Many aspects of the religious, philosophical, economic, scientific, and artistic elements in Iranian civilization are studied in this series.

For more information, see the official website and the list of the contributors and the detailed Table of Contents (all in Persian).

The series consists of 20 volumes: Continue reading The comprehensive history of Iran